Many people are confused by the difference between PPO health insurance and HMO health insurance. A helpful article on insurance.com entitled “HMO vs PPO” in their FAQ section does a great job of explaining the differences.
With an HMO, which stands for health maintenance organization, members must choose a primary care doctor from a list of member doctors. This doctor will foresee all of your general medical care and must refer you to specialists. With PPO health insurance, which stands for preferred provider organization you can either choose a general practitioner or a specialist, without a referral which can save a lot of time.
HMO’s usually require you to see in-network doctors, whereas PPO’s do not. But with PPO’s there often is incentive to stick with in-network doctors. The main benefit of HMO’s compared to PPO’s is that there usually isn’t a deductible to meet and the co-payments are generally lower. The best choice totally depends on your personal situation and your particular needs. It’s important to take the time to evaluate each health insurance option before making a decision.