Healthcare plans can be a complicated topic that many college students like to avoid, myself included! But when one breaks down healthcare insurance plans they are much less daunting and it is very important for students to be smart healthcare consumers! When you begin looking at a plan for yourself it is important to recognize the differences, to find the best plan to fit your needs!
So what are the different plans?
- Health maintenance organization (HMO): usually this plan limits coverage to providers who are within their network. If you see a provider outside of the network you will likely pay the full cost of the appointment. This type of plan generally requires you to see your primary doctor to get referrals before going to a specialist.
- Exclusive Provider Organizations (EPO): Same as HMO, in that you have a specific network, however you generally do not need to see your primary care provider before seeing a specialist.
- Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO): This type of plan allows you to use in-network providers, or use out-of-network providers and pay more. One can visit any doctor with no referral.
- Point-of-Service plans (POS): Same as PPO however, if you wish to see a provider out-of-network provider you need a referral.
- High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP): typically these plans will have higher deductibles and lower premiums then traditional insurance plans. As well as offer a health savings account to help you pay for costs.
- Catastrophic Health Insurance Plan: this type has a very high deducible. They will cover 3 annual primary care visits and preventative services at no costs. This plan is thought as a “safety net” and will cover someone during serious injury or disease.
Which plan is most effective for you?