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What is a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO)?

The biggest benefits of a standard HMO plan are the lower out-of-pocket healthcare expenses, the strong focus on preventative medicine, and nominal co pays that are independent of a deductible. However, more often than not, these features are paired with more limited options as far as freedom to choose specific physicians or hospitals. Unlike a PPO, the selection of a primary care physician (PCP), who will handle the majority of your healthcare needs, is required. With an HMO plan, your insurance claims are submitted for you by the provider. It is important to note that should you decide to receive services out-of-network, an HMO will most likely cover none of the cost. In addition, even in-network providers are not covered for services rendered without being referred by your PCP. In order for the insurance company to cover specialist visits, it is up to the discretion of the PCP to make a referral.

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