Major Types of Individual Health Insurance Policies

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The two major types of individual health insurance policies are health maintenance organizations, or HMOs, and preferred provider organizations, or PPOs. Find out how HMOs and PPOs provide a pool of doctors for the insured to visit with information from a licensed life and health insurance representative in this free video on insurance.

Part of the Video Series: Insurance Information
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Video Transcript

This is John Pinelli, financial representative, talking to you today about major types of individual health insurance policies. Now, the two major types of health insurance policies out there are HMOs and PPOs. HMOs (Health Maintenance Organization) started back in about 1975. And what these organizations do is they group together doctors and physicians and they provide them with a group of customers that will provide a steady stream of patients and income for those doctors. Now, generally, when you have an HMO such as Kaiser, you choose a preferred care provider. This is your main doctor, your go-to guy if you will, and he acts as a gatekeeper who will determine whether or not which doctors you can see and determine your course of care as you work through the HMO. Now, HMOs are very common and very popular in large organizations. Companies offer them to their employees and they offer them fairly affordable. As I mentioned, Kaiser is one of the providers of these HMO type plans and they do offer them at a very affordable rate. On the flip side, there's also PPOs (Preferred Provider Organizations). And these do work similar to HMOs in essence that there is a group, but they do provide you with quite a bit more flexibility in terms of which doctors you can choose to go to and which physicians you can see. These might be Blue Shield or Blue Cross type of plans that could be offered through your employer or you could seek out on your own, as well. And, as I mentioned, they do provide you with a greater deal of flexibility in terms of what doctors you can see and who you can receive care from. So, this has been John Pinelli talking to you today about HMOs, PPOs and what the basic types of health insurance you can obtain as an individual.

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