There are several different plans and types of health insurance other than an HMO insurance that one can choose from. Health insurance plans other an HMO range from the government health plans for those at the poverty or lowest income level all the way to custom health insurance plans for the wealthy.
PPO, or Preferred Provider Organizations are a mix of HMO and fee-for-service health plans. In a PPO you have a limited number of doctors and hospitals to select from. When you use your selected doctor or hospital “preferred provider” usually most of your medical bills will be covered. As with an HMO, a PPO requests that a primary care doctor monitor your health care and most preventive health care is covered. In a PPO you can use doctors out of the PPO but you’ll pay more of the bill.
A POS or Point of Service plan is offered within an HMO. This let’s you refer yourself outside of the HMO providers but you’ll have to make a co payment and still have some coverage.
Fee for service health insurance is just that. This health insurance allows you to pick the doctor, hospital and services you want. You pay a monthly amount and a once a year a deductible. After you pay your deductible you’re required to pay usually 20% of services and the insurance picks up the rest.
The Affordable Care Act or “Obamacare” was passed by Congress to offer affordable, competitive rates for Americans. It accepts individuals with pre-existing conditions and also increases eligibility for Medicaid.