PPO’s are the most popular health plan choice in the state of Illinois.
How does a PPO plan work?
The insured members pay a co-payment at the time of each medical service. For example, at the time of an office visit to a physician, the patient pays $20. Each person will also have a yearly deductible to pay out of his/her pocket, before the insurance company will start paying medical fees. The insurance usually pays a percentage of the medical fees (often 80%) for the in-network doctor, with the patient responsible for the remainder of the bill.
If the person wants to see an out-of-network doctor, he/she may do so without permission; but the deductible for out-of-network services may be higher and the percentage the insurance will pay may be lower. In other words, the patient will be responsible for a greater part of the fee. This encourages the people insured with a PPO to use the physicians, other medical providers and hospitals in their network.
Advantages of a PPO Plan
Advantages of a PPO include the flexibility of seeking care with an out-of-network provider if so desired, even though it is more out-of-pocket expense for the patient. PPO networks also have prescription services which provide prescription drugs at a reduced cost. The overall premium for a PPO is less than for individual health coverage and will often include more covered medical services. There is a large network of medical providers representing large geographic areas.