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What is an HMO plan and how does it work?

HMOs (which stands for Health Maintenance Organization) generally allow members to have lower out-of-pocket healthcare expenses but offer less choice and flexibility in the choice of doctors or hospitals than other plans. If you're a member of an HMO, you will be required to pick a primary care physician (PCP). Your PCP will take care of your healthcare needs. Before you can see a specialist, your PCP will need to give you a referral for a visit.

If you have an HMO, you're likely to have coverage for a broader range of preventive healthcare examinations than would be available with another plan type. You may have to pay a deductible prior to coverage and your co-payments are likely to be minimal. With an HMO plan, you're not likely to have to submit any of your personal claims to the insurance organizations. But remember that you are likely to have no coverage for services rendered by providers outside of the network or for services provided without an official referral from your PCP. 

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