Healthcare costs

Healthcare costs

As you learn about health care delivery in the United States, it is necessary to understand the various models of health insurance to develop important foundational knowledge as you progress through the course and for your role as a future health care worker. The following matrix is designed to help you develop that knowledge and assist you in understanding how health care is financed and how health insurance influences patients and providers. Fill in the following matrix. Each box must contain responses between 50 and 100 words and use complete sentences.

Model

Describe the model

How is the care paid or financed when this model is used?

What is the structure behind this model? Is it a gatekeeper, open-access, or combination of both?

What are the benefits for providers in using this model?

What are the challenges for providers in using this model?

Health Maintenance Organization (HMO)

. A type of health insurance plan that usually limits coverage to care from doctors who work for or contract with the HMO. It generally won’t cover out-of-network care except in an emergency. An HMO may require you to live or work in its service area to be eligible for coverage. HMOs often provide integrated care and focus on prevention and wellness.

Health maintenance organizations represent “pre-paid” or “capitated” insurance plans in which individuals or their employers pay a fixed monthly fee for services instead of a separate charge for each visit or service. The monthly fees remain the same, regardless of types or levels of services provided. Services are provided by physicians who are employed by, or under contract with, the HMO.

You’ll select a Primary Care Physician who will be the first point of contact for your healthcare. You are encouraged to build a strong relationship with your PCP because they will connect you to specialists or other health care providers. Your PCP will be able to see the total picture of your overall health.

With an HMO plan, your out-of-pocket medical costs and monthly premiums will generally be lower than with other types of plans. If you are someone who doesn’t see a lot of specialists or would like having your care coordinated through a PCP, then you might save more money with an HMO plan.

Tight controls can make it more difficult to get specialized care

As an HMO member, you must choose a primary care physician (PCP). Your PCP provides your general medical care and must be consulted before you seek care from another physician or specialist. This screening process helps to reduce costs both for the HMO and for HMO members, but it can also lead to complications if your PCP doesn’t provide the referral you need

Preferred Provider Model

. A Medicare PPO Plan is a type of Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C) offered by a private insurance company. In a PPO Plan, you pay less if you use doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers that belong to the plan’s network . You pay more if you use doctors, hospitals, and providers outside of the network

Rather than prepaying for medical care, PPO members pay for services as they are rendered. The PPO sponsor (employer or insurance company) generally reimburses the member for the cost of the treatment, less any co-payment percentage. In some cases, the physician may submit the bill directly to the insurance company for payment. The insurer then pays the covered amount directly to the healthcare provider, and the member pays his or her co-payment amount. The price for each type of service is negotiated in advance by the healthcare providers and the PPO sponsor(s).

Free choice of healthcare provider

PPO members are not required to seek care from PPO physicians. However, there is generally strong financial incentive to do so. For example, members may receive 90% reimbursement for care obtained from network physicians but only 60% for non-network treatment. In order to avoid paying an additional 30% out of their own pockets, most PPO members choose to receive their healthcare within the PPO network.

Out-of-pocket costs generally limited

Healthcare costs paid out of your own pocket (e.g., deductibles and co-payments) are limited. Typically, out-of-pocket costs for network care are limited to $1,200 for individuals and $2,100 for families. Out-of-pocket costs for non-network treatment are typically capped at $2,000 for individuals and $3,500 for families. And they have a free choice of healthcare provider.

More paperwork and expenses than HMOs

As a PPO member, you may have to fill out paperwork in order to be reimbursed for your medical treatment. Additionally, most PPOs

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