Here’s the main difference between an HMO and PPO:
PPO – You can go to specialists without a referral and you can go outside the plan’s provider network, although you’ll have considerably more out-of-pocket expense if you do that.
HMO – You have a primary care provider that refers you to specialists. You cannot go outside of the plan’s provider network except in an emergency. Some people don’t like the extra step of having to see their primary doctor in order to see a specialist, but if there’s ever a medical issue, all your provider’s are working off the same database – so all your doctors and specialists can see the total picture.
Bottom Line: I’m not recommending one over the other – I’m simply pointing out the differences. The correct choice is whatever you feel is best for you and your family.