PPO is a health maintenance organization that stands for preferred provider organization that offers a network of healthcare providers that can provide you with medical care.
The healthcare providers’ network provides care to the plan members at a specific fixed and agreed rate.
PPO offers its members, that is, patients who have subscribed to the plan to receive care from a wide range of health providers they can choose from.
They can see any doctor or specialist of their choice. This is what makes PPO outstanding: the fact that members have the freedom to see any provider in and out of the network as well as use any hospital.
With PPO, members who already have a doctor they like or are used to can continue receiving health care from that provider, so there is no need to choose a primary care physician (PCP).
When you need a specialist, you do not have to consult with a specialist or PCP. PPO gives you absolute freedom and does not require referrals.
The fantastic part of PPO is that it allows you to use any healthcare provider of your choice when you are far away from home and in need of medical care.
How PPO Plan Works
As a member of the PPO network or plan, your health insurance company covers a huge part of the financial cost involved in your medical bills.
The remaining part of the bills you pay is referred to as cost-sharing; however, with PPO, the bills usually come at a discounted rate as certain services, and their prices have already been pre-agreed by health care providers and health facilities in the PPO network.
With PPO, your health insurance company will usually try to incentivize you because it costs you less from your pocket to get care from in-network healthcare providers.
PPO allows you to choose and manage your medical care without needing specialist referrals from a primary care provider.
As a member of the PPO plan, you won’t need to choose a primary care physician, and you will be encouraged to use the network of preferred doctors, but you can choose your desired providers.
No matter the health care providers you choose, you will be covered at a higher benefit level than out-of-network services.
With PP0, you may have to pay an annual deductible before the insurance company can cover your medical bills.
As a member, you may be required to pay a co-payment for particular services or a percentage of your total medical bills.
It is important to note that PPO plans often require pre-authorization for some medications, procedures, or types of care.
With PPO, unless there is an emergency, you may need approval from the insurance company before proceeding with your treatment plans, such as surgery.
The above action prevents your insurance company from covering unnecessary, expensive treatments of PP0 members.
Benefits of PPO Plans
PPO has amazing benefits to offer; below are some of them:
- They offer amazing flexibility
- They have a wide range of copays, premiums, and deductibles members can choose from
- You do not need a referral, unlike other plans
- There is no limit to the coverage of a predetermined network. This means you have the freedom to choose your primary care physician.
Why Should I Choose PPO?
You can choose PPO; if you want to get more control over your choices and don’t mind paying for that ability, you should choose the PPO plan,
You should choose PPO if you travel a lot and may not need to see a primary care physician.
What is the Term in-network and Out-Network, and how is it beneficial?
In-network refers to members receiving healthcare services from healthcare providers who are part of the PPO health insurance plans network.
The Benefits of in-network are as Follows:
- Lower out-of-pocket costs
- No balance billing
- Simplified claims process
Our network refers to members receiving healthcare services from providers not part of the PPO network.
The benefits of out-network are as follows:
- Higher out-of-pocket costs
- Balance billing risk
- More complex claims process
How do I find Doctors and Specialists in my PPO Network?
To find doctors and specialists in your PPO Network, you can follow the steps listed below:
- Visit the website of your insurance provider
- Use provider directories provided by your insurance company
- You can place a call to your insurance company
- Seek recommendations from people around you who have the same insurance plan
What are the Tips to Guide Me when Choosing a PPO Plan?
Below are some of the tips that will help you choose a good PPO and maximize them:
- Understand in-network vs out of the network before you choose
- Understand the preventive services covered by the PPO plan
- Understand and know your coverage limits
- Consider if the PPO IS compatible for a health savings account
- Understand the prescription drug covered by the PPO plan
- Keep track of any changes to your PPO plan as being informed will help you make informed decisions.