POS Insurance: Is it a good alternative to HMOs?

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POS insurance, formally known as point-of-service insurance, takes a little bit from two of the most popular types of medical insurance on the market (PPOs and HMOs) to combine them into a single package. You can use this type of insurance both in-network as well as out of network.

This does provide more flexibility than some of the other types of insurance out there, and it still comes at a more affordable price than pricier options. Keep in mind that it’s still designed to encourage you to receive treatment in-network than floating outside of their network.

How POS Insurance Works

Think of this kind of insurance as an HMO with an added level of freedom provided. An HMO strictly limits your care to staying in-network, but with a POS policy, you can still reach out of the network to receive your treatment. Keep in mind that if you do go out of the network, it might be a little bit more expensive, but it remains more affordable than some of the more expensive policies on the market.

As far as seeing a specialist is concerned, you’ll have to get a referral from your primary care provider in order to ensure that it’s covered by your insurance.

The Benefits of POS Insurance

While it may seem like POS policies are very similar to HMOs, many have found it to be more beneficial for their medical needs. Some of the benefits that come with point-of-service insurance include, but is not to be limited to:

· Copays are minimal, and deductibles are usually non-existent.

In fact, a majority insured under this type of medical insurance only end up paying $10-$20 for a copay when they visit their doctor. Deductibles are usually eliminated in their entirety, but keep in mind that each insurance company has its own policies.

· Freedom to roam out of the network if you feel the need to do so.

Maybe you have a doctor that you like seeing who hasn’t been included in the network of your insurance provider, or maybe you need to see a specialist that’s out of network. Whatever the case may be, this is where POS insurance policies have the advantage as their strength is providing you with the freedom to do so. Just expect there to be higher costs when you do so.

· Traveling? You can choose to see a healthcare provider of your choice.

Therefore, those who spend a lot of time on the road will end up choosing POS policies over HMOs as there are times when medical attention might be needed while traveling. The level of flexibility that these insurance plans offer makes it a more logical solution for their lifestyles.

If you demand flexibility when it comes to the medical providers that you can see, this is the obvious choice as this is exactly what it provides. However, you’ll want to make sure that you become fully educated on what the insurance company you choose expects before you make a final decision.