Should you consider an HMO? While you may have to get a referral from a primary doctor to see a specialist, that referral process can also result in a huge advantage. How?
If you have a serious medical event, all the doctors & specialists in the HMO work together as a team – and they are all working off the same database – so you don’t have to worry about things like negative drug interactions if more than 1 doctor is prescribing prescription drugs – and you don’t have to seek out various specialists and coordinate your own care… it’s all done for you!
And HMO’s are far less expensive than PPO’s for the exact same coverage! So the convenience of being able to see a specialist without a referral can cost you hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars. Plus you lose the advantage of coordinated care.
If you like PPO’s and you’re ok with the cost, go for it! But the PPO’s are really expensive these days. So I’m just trying to make the case that there are advantages to having an HMO. And by the way, you can have access to hospitals such as Hoag, UCI, St Joseph, St Jude, CHOC, Mission, Cedars Sinai, Keck Hosp of USC, UCLA Medical Center and many more…!
Neil Steinman is the principal of Orange County Health & Life Insurance in Orange County, CA – and has been serving the needs of California residents for nearly 20 years.