Health insurance has steamrolled in popularity since it was first introduced by the Blue Cross organization in the 1930's, when it offered pre-paid hospitalization to covered individuals. The main reason for the increasing need for health insurance coverage is the ever-rising costs of medical services. Before the costs of medical services began to rise, peoples' largest worry was how they were going to cover their lost wages after an accident or illness. Today, however, health insurance is not only a great investment, it is a necessity; especially for those with families. Types of Health Insurance
There are four main types of health insurance available to the public. In order to choose the plan that's right for you or your family, it is very important to understand the differences between the main insurance plans.HMO - With a Health Maintenance Organization plan, or HMO, the insured is required to choose a primary physician from a predetermined network of health care professionals in their area. The primary care physician they choose is solely responsible for providing preventive care and coordinating any specialized care, including hospitalizations that they may require. The use of the primary care physician cuts down on the number of unnecessary hospitalizations and, in turn, the overall costs of the program; allowing HMO programs to be one of the most cost-effective forms of health insurance.PPO - The Preferred Provider Organization, or PPO, is very similar to an HMO, except that they insured and their family has the option of choosing a primary care physician outside of the program's designated network. If the insured chooses a physician within the network, they will usually be required to pay lower co-pays and deductibles for their medical services. If the insured chooses an out-of-network physician, however, the HMO will only cover 80% of the medical costs.POS - The Point of Service, or POS, form of health insurance is often considered a combination of an HMO and a PPO. The insured party chooses a primary care physician from within or without of their network and uses their physician for all of their initial consultations. The insured must start all of their medical care by consulting their physician. If they do not the insurance company may choose to not cover the medical expenses for their care.Major Medical - Major Medical, also known as Catastrophic Care, is primarily used to cover medical payments for major medical expenses when no other medical coverage is available. There are two ways in which Major Medical, or Traditional Medical Coverage, works. The insured can either choose to pay for the medical services up-front and then be reimbursed for the 80% the insurance will normally cover or sign a release in which the health insurance company will pay for their portion up front and the insured will be billed for the remaining charges.
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