PPO means preferred provider organization. It is an insurance plan or option that offers a reduced rate when the patient goes to a doctor or hospital that is in their network of preferred providers.
An advantage of this option is that there is no deductible and no primary care physician designation. The patients can go to any doctor within the network without a referral. A disadvantage of this option is that if you are traveling or have special care needs that requires the use a doctor or hospital outside the network, the cost for care is more expensive. The PPO option is more expensive than the HMO option, but less expensive than the options offering fee-for-service. Many major private insurance companies offer a PPO plan. Medicare has a PPO plan in Medicare Part C. Some PPO plans offer coverage for prescription cost.