Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

Full Bio →

Written by

Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like

Full Bio →

Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Mar 25, 2019

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one insurance provider and cannot guarantee quotes from any single provider.

Our insurance industry partnerships don’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare quotes from many different insurance providers please enter your ZIP code above to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

Understanding your health insurance options is a very important part of the buying process. Often times individuals in the market for health insurance will purchase the cheapest option that they can find without realizing that they aren’t necessarily purchasing the best plan for themselves or, when applicable, their family.

Get and compare insurance quotes by entering your zip code now!

You don’t want to make a similar mistake, which is why it is important for you to take the time to review the different types of policies available. Keep reading to learn more about the different types of health insurance options available to you and an overview of each one.

Compare Your Health Insurance Options

There are many different health insurance options for you to choose from. Not only do you have traditional health insurance, often called an indemnity plan, but you can also choose from HMOs, PPOs, POS, government health insurance and partial plans such as hospital only or office visit only insurance.

Traditional health insurance – Indemnity health insurance plans are all inclusive, meaning that they provide coverage for your doctor’s office, hospital stays and emergency room visits.

Typically, traditional health insurance provides prescription coverage as an al a carte service. This addition is usually very affordable, only adding a couple of dollars a month to your total premium costs.

How your care is paid for depends on what type of contract you sign. Some insurance companies will require you to pay out of pocket and then reimburse you while others simply require you to pay your co-pay and deductible costs.

Traditional health insurance is usually your most expensive choice for health insurance. The reason for this is that you aren’t restricted by your insurance company in terms of doctor choice, hospital choice and even specialist choice. Typically, indemnity insurance covers you anywhere in the world as well.

HMO or Health Management Organization

In the past an HMO was only available through your employer, however, many health insurance companies are now offering HMOs to individuals.

A HMO is based in a very controlled system. In order to manage the costs, your HMO provider negotiates contracts with health providers in your area such as doctors, hospitals and specialists. In order for your health care to be covered, you must choose a primary care physician from within the network.

You are not allowed to see a specialist unless your primary care physician recommends it and the insurance company approves it. If you have an emergency, you must contact the insurance company within a specified period of time, usually 24 hours, or your services many not be covered.

When you visit a physician while using a HMO, you pay a co-pay to the physician and they bill the insurance company for the rest. This means that you don’t have to apply for reimbursement or pay for your services out of pocket.

A HMO is the most restrictive type of health insurance. However, it is also the most affordable option, which is why many people choose it. If you have special needs, however, this may not be the right plan for you.

Free Insurance Providers Comparison

Compare Insurance Providers Rates to Save Up to 75%

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

PPO or Preferred Provider Organization

Much like a HMO, you choose your doctors out of a network. Unlike a HMO, a PPO allows you to see a doctor outside of your network, you simply have to pay the difference between the PPO negotiated cost and the actual cost of the doctor’s visit.

You also don’t need permission from the insurance company in order to see a specialist. If your doctor says you need to see a specialist, then you see a specialist.

A PPO, however, has one major downside. In most cases, you will have to pay for your services out of pocket and then request a reimbursement from your PPO provider. This process can be quite slow for some companies, so it is important for you to do your research about claims before you choose an insurance company.

PPOs are typically very affordable, more so than an indemnity plan but not as much as a HMO. There are fewer restrictions on a PPO, which makes it appealing to many people.

POS means Point of Sale

A POS is very similar to a PPO with a few elements of a HMO included. A POS uses a network of doctors that you must use if you need care, much like a HMO. However, a POS plan will pay for all of your services to an out of network doctor if your primary car physician refers you to the out of network doctor.

Like a PPO, when you use a POS, you can switch between doctors within the network for any reason. In addition, you don’t need the insurance company’s permission to visit a specialist or to receive outside care, only the referral of your physician.

A PPO costs about the same as a HMO however, there are fewer doctors within the network, which means that you will have fewer choices if you select this plan.

Partial plans – partial plans are very affordable, however, they only cover the care that you pay for. This means that if you choose a hospital only plan, which is only for emergencies, then you cannot see a doctor if you are sick. Partial plans are often best for those without families.

Compare Insurance Providers Rates to Save Up to 75%

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Deductibles for Health Insurance Savings

Every type of plan, even HMOs as of 2009, can be purchased with a deductible to save money on premium costs. A deductible refers to the amount of money that you pay out of pocket before the insurance company begins to pay for your medical care.

Some insurance companies don’t apply the deductible to preventative care visits such as physicals, breast exams and vaccinations because these types of visits help you to stay healthy and catch potential risks before they become serious.

If you choose a high deductible and you never need serious medical care, it is possible that you will pay for all of your care out of pocket. That is why it is important that you choose a manageable deductible.

Buying Health Insurance

One of the most important things that you can do when you purchase health insurance, outside of understanding your options, is to shop around. One of the easiest ways to find the right price is by using a free quote tool like the one we offer here.

Free quote tools allow you to compare health insurance options side by side while seeing what each insurance company charges for these options. This makes it easy for you make the best choice for your needs and for your wallet.

Give it a try by entering your zip code and comparing health insurance quotes today!