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Finding the right health insurance plan can leave you dizzier than when you get off a roller coaster ride since they come in more flavors than gelato. Luckily, for sanity-loving people everywhere, there are just four broad categories of plans:
- health maintenance organizations (HMOs)
- preferred provider organizations (PPOs)
- point-of-service plans (POS)
- fee-for-service plans (FFS) or indemnity-like plans
Any other extra coverage you want would be included in a supplemental plan.
Health insurance plans in general fall into three plan categories: managed care, consumer-directed, and indemnity plans. These plans are for general basic coverage and do not include the specialty plans like supplemental insurance, disease specific insurance, disability insurance, or accident insurance. A managed care plan is when an insurance provider partners with a doctor or hospital to offer coverage. If you find health care outside of this network of providers, you are not covered by your insurance. A consumer-directed plan is one that offers you complete freedom to choose a doctor but you must pay higher deductibles before coverage begins. An indemnity plan, or a fee-for-service plan, allows you to pick your doctors but you must first pay out-of-pocket expenses and be reimbursed later through your insurance provider.
This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.