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An Introduction to Managed Health Care Plans

Managed primary care plans are the most popular type of health insurance coverage in America today. Managed Care Plans differ from Indemnity Plans. An Indemnity Plan allows policyholders to seek medical attention at any time and anywhere they are needed. A primary care plan gives policyholders many restrictions and limitations.

Because most employers offer these plans to employees, primary care plans have become very common. Employers are responsible for the costs of employee's medical coverage. 

Employers' medical benefits are their largest expense. Employers tend to choose the most affordable health plan to offer their employees. Employers can choose managed care plans because they are the most affordable type of health insurance and provides direct access to your doctor.

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The following categories of managed care plans are available: a Health Maintenance Organization, a Preferred Provider Organization and a Point of Service. The most popular are PPOs and HMOs. Below is a brief description of the differences between each.

HMO participants can only select a PCP from the approved list. You may not find your preferred doctor on this list. HMOs won't cover the costs of medical care provided by a provider outside your network. It can also be difficult to get an appointment with a PCP because the HMO network in most cases is very small.

Although PPOs offer greater freedom, the associated costs are higher. This can lead to high costs if you need to seek out a provider of medical care outside of the PPO network.

A POS-managed plan is a mix of HMOs and PPOs. This plan allows you to select a provider of medical care and is more flexible. It also has lower costs. Although you can choose a PCP to provide your care, it is not easy to refer to a specialist. 

It is important to do extensive research on the managed care plans you want. You should find the plan that meets your needs. You will find that the coverage and extra costs vary from one plan to another. Take your time, clarify any doubts and invest in the effort as soon as you can.