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A Preferred Provider Organization is a type of health plan that uses a network of providers such as doctors, specialists and hospitals. Generally, referrals are not required and you may be able to get care outside of the network, usually at higher costs.
Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) may require a referral from a primary care doctor to see specialists or other providers. Since an HMO is usually an in-network plan, an insured individual may not be able to get care outside of the plan’s network.
A fee for service plan (typically Medicare) means that an insured party may receive health care from any provider, as long as that doctor or facility agrees with the plan’s terms and conditions for payment. An insured party with a Fee For Service Plan may be subject to getting the balance of the bill not paid by the insurance plan.
A Point of Service plan is generally an HMO that allows an insured party to seek care from doctors or specialists without a referral. In some cases, an insured party may be able to receive care from outside the plan’s network.
Supplemental Health Plans are generally policies purchased from an insurance company to cover a variety of different occurrences such as:
Traditional or individual insurance are plans offered by private insurance companies. The premiums are usually paid by an individual directly to the insurance company. Group insurance offers an employee health insurance at a reduced rate for the employee. Bear in mind that group policies may not offer the family members of the employee the same reduced rates. Usually, an employee has to pay the normal price to include dependent children or their spouse on an employer-sponsored health plan.
Any “credible” health plan has to cover pre-existing conditions per the Affordable Care Act. A credible health plan is a health plan that does not exclude pre-existing conditions or imposes a maximum amount of coverage (i.e. $1 million of health care coverage). Credible plans must also cover preventive screenings, such as annual physical exams, mammograms, vaccinations, etc.
Obamacare is another name or term used for health insurance offered through the Health Insurance Marketplace. The “Marketplace” offers health coverage to individuals and families, often at a reduced rate, typically lower than buying a plan directly from an insurer. The difference is that eligibility for financial assistance may depend on various factors such as age, income, and geographic location. Insurance is usually offered until an individual turns 65 years old. After age 65, in most cases, an individual is no longer eligible for an individual health insurance plan. There are certain circumstances where an individual 65 or older may be able to stay with an individual plan, such as employer or group insurance.
Dental insurance may vary from company to company. However most dental plans offer coverage for cleanings and basic services, such as non surgical extraction or a filling. Some dental plans cover major services such as coverage for crowns, root canal, oral surgery, etc. Dental plans may be offered as an HMO or a PPO. Some employers may offer dental coverage along with health insurance and vision coverage as a package. Most dental plans offer a yearly limit of coverage such as $1000, $1500 or $2500 and plans may or may not to cover orthodontics (braces).
Vision Insurance offers coverage for eye exams or coverage (or allowances) for eyeglasses or contact lenses. There are certain plans called Flexible Spending Accounts that allow you to save pre-tax money into an account to pay for dental or vision expenses. FSAs are usually allowed with employer or group insurance plans.