Most consumers have health care coverage from an employer. Others have medical care paid through a government program such as Medicare, Medicaid, or the Veterans Administration
(VA). For information on Medicaid, look in your phone book under Medicaid, Social Services, Medical Assistance, Human Services, or Community
Service. Information about Medicare is available by calling 1-800-MEDICARE. Information concerning VA medical care is available from your nearest VA facility.
When purchasing health insurance, your choices will typically fall into one of three categories:
Traditional fee-for-service health insurance plans are usually the most expensive choice. But they offer you the most flexibility when choosing health care providers.
Health maintenance organizations (HMOs) offer lower co-payments and cover the costs of more preventative care BUT your choice of health care providers is limited.
Preferred provider organization (PPOs) offer lower co-payments like HMOs. Their advantage over HMOs is that they give you more flexibility when selecting a provider.
A PPO gives you a list of providers you can choose from.
If you go outside the HMO or PPO network of providers, you may have to pay a portion or all of the costs.