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What are the different types of health care?

Megan Henney

The coronavirus pandemic has brought health care coverage to the forefront of the conversation.

More than 50 percent of Americans get their health insurance through their employer. Since mid-March, close to 47 million Americans have sought jobless aid. A recent analysis by the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute forecast that 3.5 million workers lost their insurance in just the last two weeks of March.

If you are among the employees laid off, be sure to check your current health insurance benefits, because coverage may last through the end of the month. There are options for workers who lose their coverage.


There are four main types of health insurance:

  • Health maintenance organizations (HMOs): HMOs have their own network of doctors, hospitals and other health care providers who have agreed to accept payment at a certain level for services provided. Because of this, an HMO often has a lower monthly premium compared to other types of plans, as well as cheaper copays and coinsurance. HOW TO GET HEALTH INSURANCE IF YOU LOSE YOUR JOBIndividuals who select this plan must select from a network of local health providers. That doctor is who they will see when they need medical care. If that individual needs to see a specialist, they would first visit their primary care doctor.Typically, this plan does not cover out-of-network care, except in case of emergency.  
  • Preferred provider organizations (PPOs)A type of plan where individuals pay less if they use providers in the plan's network. You do not need referrals to see a specialist. If you see an in-network provider, you will only be responsible for a portion of the bill, depending on your plan's payment structure. WHAT IS MEDICAID?If you see a doctor who is out-of-network, you'll be on the hook for a larger portion of the bill, although most plans still cover a portion of the bill. Unlike an HMO, a PPO offers individuals more flexibility. But it comes at a higher cost -- plans typically include more expensive out-of-pocket costs, higher monthly premiums and pricier copays. There's also an annual deductible.  
  • Exclusive provider organizations (EPOs)People who select an EPO can use the doctors and hospitals within the EPO network, but cannot go out of the network for care.Most EPO plans do not include coverage for out-of-network care except in the case of an emergency. You do not need a referral to receive care from a specialist, but you are responsible for out-of-pocket payments if you visit a doctor outside of your plan's network. An EPO is considered to be a sort of blend between a PPO and an HMO.WHAT IS MEDICARE? 
  • Point-of-service (POS) plansThis is another type of hybrid of a PPO and HMO. Like an HMO, you need a referral from your primary care physician in order to see a specialist. But you'll pay less if you use doctors, hospitals and other health care providers in the plan's network. You still have access to out-of-network providers, but at an increased cost.GET FOX BUSINESS ON THE GO BY CLICKING HERE 

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