What Are the Differences Between HMO, HSA and PPO Health Insurance Plans?


Quick Answer

There are different medical networks and paperwork requirements associated with HMO, PPO and HSA health insurance plans, as noted by WebMD. These differences determine the medical experts a patient can visit and the amount of monthly premium and deductible costs.

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Full Answer

The HMO plan is more technically referred to as a Health Maintenance Organization, as defined by WebMD. Under this plan, a patient is eligible to visit medical professionals that are within the respective insurance network. A patient who visits a doctor out of the network is required to pay additional fees. This plan has predictable out-of-pocket costs and the least amount of paperwork to complete.

The PPO, or Preferred Provider Organization, includes coverage from medical experts both within and outside of the insurance provider's network, as listed by Health Insure. Costs are generally higher than an HMO plan since coverage is more extensive. A patient can expect that deductibles and co-pays are higher under a PPO insurance plan.

Finally, the HSA, or Health Savings Account, differs from other plans in that it allows individual flexibility. In his plan, a patient sets up a special savings account that is dedicated specifically to paying medical expenses, as noted by Health Insure. This individual approach allows patients to fund the Health Savings Account with any amount necessary. However, deductibles and co-pays are considerably higher, as the insurance companies do not cover a portion of these costs.

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