In the United States there are various types of health insurance plans available to choose from. Below is an overview of 5 different health insurance plans and their structural layout.
HMOs typically tend to have cheaper premiums with minimal deductibles, but are limited to the providers within their network. If you already have a trusted physician you don’t want to steer from, you may want to check their “provider list” before choosing an HMO. They also require you to see a primary doctor before you can see a specialist.
PPOs usually have a higher premium with a larger deductibles, but you are given more freedom when choosing a provider. You can choose a doctor or facility either inside or outside the network, of course in-network providers will accrue less costs. Some may require you to have a primary physician, but you do not need a referral to see a specialist.
POS is a hybrid of PPO and HMO, like the HMO plan their structure is based off lower costs and limited options. With this plan you will make the decision of which system (HMO or PPO) you want to go with when you use the service. You are required to have a primary physician, and you must have a referral from your primary before seeing a specialist.
FFS plans have no restrictions on providers allowing the patient to choose just about any doctor or facility within the country. They do require a prepaid premium and deductibles, but typically have a smaller list of covered prescriptions than other health insurance plans.
Catastrophic Health Insurance Plans are specifically designed to provide you with an emergency safety net. They normally have a high deductible with low premiums, and emphasize coverage particularly for serious illnesses, major accidents, and hospitalizations. Most plans will not cover prescription drugs or shots.