POS versus PPO Health Insurance Plans – Which Should You Choose
People who need to live with chronic illnesses know that buying medications, whether they are availed from American or Canadian pharmacy stores, as well as taking care of hospital bills can eat up a large chunk of their budget. Hence why, investing in a particular type of health insurance plan would surely make sense at this point. One type of health insurance policy that you should look into is called managed health care plans.
Managed health care plans provide three affordable plans for their subscribers. Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) and Point of Service (POS) are two of these three plans that are offered in the U.S., as well as Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs).
With the availability of these three cost-efficient plans for membership, the downside is limitations on choices of health care providers and where their services can be provided. Of the three plans, one is the most cost-efficient, but restricts your choice of physicians. The other offer more freedom in choosing doctors but is more expensive. The third is a cross of the first two plans and has become a preferred choice among consumers.
PPO health care offer the most freedom among these three plans, while POS subscribers enjoy the best combination of features found in both PPO and HMO plans in their policy.
The Point of Service Plan is a composite of PPO and HMO health care plans. Similar to the HMO plan, members can choose from a local or national network of contracted physicians, where they can pick their primary care physician (PCP). The PCP is designated to organize all facets of the member’s health care.
Having similar features as the other health care plan, a PPO plan offers its members more choices in finding physician’s care whether within or out of the network and still enjoy many of the benefits.
POS and PPO health care plans also differ in other aspects:
• More people are subscribed to PPO than POS health care plans. In 2010, 53 million members were covered by PPO plan, while POS plans covered only 8.8 million subscribers.
• POS members are not required to pay a certain amount when availing of network care, while PPO members need to pay for the service.
• PPO members are required to submit paperwork to have out-of-network care expenses reimbursed, while there is no need for POS members to do this.