While there are many different options in health insurance that you will have, there are only four basic choices in the type of California health insurance plans from which you will have to choose. These are:
Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) – An HMO plan requires a monthly payment of your insurance fee. Instead of paying for service when you get it, you pay in advance through the monthly fee. You are given a list of doctors that are covered by your HMO and you must go to those doctors in order to use your coverage. You are required to choose a primary health care physician who will coordinate all of your other health care needs. There are also co-pays involved with HMOs that are paid at doctor visits and for other services that you must pay at the time of the visit.
Point of Service Plans (POS) – A POS is a type of HMO where you do not need a primary health care physician. You can choose your own care options.
Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO) – A PPO is where you have a group of doctors that have all agreed to certain plan fees and rates. You do not have to see only physicians in your plan’s network, but you will typically pay slightly more for out of network physicians.
Fee-for-Service Plans – A Fee-for-Service-Plan is a simple plan where you have a deductible that you must meet before the insurance offers any coverage. You can see any physician you would like. You also will still make co-pays once your insurance starts after you meet your deductible.