When you enroll in a health insurance plan, you are usually given a specific network of doctors that contract with the insurance company, often with outlined specific rates and limits. There are different levels of this provision. One of these options is a PPO, otherwise known as a Preferred Provider Organization.
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How Is A PPO Different from HMO?
The major difference between HMO (Health Maintenance Organization) and PPO (Preferred Provider Organization) programs is their network size, the freedom to see specialists, costs, and out-of-network coverage.
HMO gives you the ability to see doctors and hospitals in their network. Unlike PPO plans, HMO plans cover appointments ONLY in its set network and give you a limited amount of freedom to see a non-network provider. There are also generally more restrictions on the number of visits, tests and treatments that will be covered.
Are All PPO’s Multiplan PPO?
While Multiplan is the largest provider of PPO’s in America, it is not the only one. MultiPlan is America’s earliest and most extensive independent PPO network.
Choice of Freedom
Multiplan PPOs give you the opportunity of freedom.
- You can consult a doctor or specialist without a note from your primary care physician.
- You have the choice of seeing a doctor or hospital outside the network with the possibility of coverage though benefits are better if you stay within your PPO network.
- While premiums are higher, there are deductibles.
A Higher Cost – A Better Service
As with all things in life, the additional coverage comes at a higher cost. While monthly HMO premiums will generally be lower than PPO prices, you must consider deductibles. Not all HMOs have deductibles, but they tend to be more inexpensive than PPO deductibles when they do.
What Is MultiPlan Insurance?
MultiPlan insurance plans are not considered traditional “health insurance.” However, it is an essential part of the health insurance process. Insurance companies will contract with MultiPlan PPO, who negotiate with the doctors in the network.
Look at them as the middleman between the insurance company and the doctor’s office or medical facility. PPO’s have certain advantages over the other levels of provision, such as an HMO, that benefit the insured.
Who Are Candidates of Multiplan PPO?
According to the MultiPlan website, “you likely have access to MultiPlan’s services through your health plan administrator or medical bill payer (especially if you see one of our logos on your Member ID card).”
How Much Does MultiPlan PPO Cost?
As MultiPlan does not sell health insurance, this is a question for your specific health insurance company.
How Does MultiPlan Insurance Work?
There are three big differences between what an HMO offers and what PPOs like MultiPlan offer. These include:
- Choice of Doctors – With an HMO, you must choose a Primary Care Physician, a specific doctor who coordinates all your medical care. He must be within the specific network provided by the insurance company; if not, you will have to pay out of pocket for the services rendered. With a PPO, you do not have to select a specific doctor. You can see any doctors in or out of the network, though you do save money if they are within the specific network. Another difference is the coordination of benefits. With an HMO, you must first get a referral from your Primary Care Physician before you see a specialist for any reason.
- Negotiated Savings – This is the primary purpose of PPO Networks. To work out the fine details of costs between the insurance company and the doctors. This can mean savings for you in the long run as long as you stay within the network. You are free to see any doctor, but the contracted rates are with the providers within the network.
- Quality of Service Providers – MultiPlan PPO’s have rigorous criteria when they are evaluating the providers for their network. You can rest assured that the doctors they contract with are of the highest quality.
How to Receive MultiPlan PPO Services
Many customers ask if MultiPlan PPOs are generally good – but remember this is not insurance. You can receive their services by having an insurance company that contracts through them. HMOs are the same in this instance; both are the middleman between the insurance companies and the doctors in their network.
How to Use MultiPlan PPO Services
Once you have an insurance policy that uses MultiPlan PPO, you can contact them to help you find the doctor you would like to use or to find the doctor you are currently using. You can reach them through:
- Their Website. You follow the prompts on the screen to enter your search criteria.
- The Phone Number on Your Insurance Card. During business hours, they can assist you in finding the medical provider you need.
Remember that it is your responsibility to confirm that the doctor you are using is in the network. Never assume. Again, you can use any doctor you choose with MultiPlan PPO, but your most significant savings will be when you use a doctor within the network.
In most cases, you will not have to worry about filing any claims with your insurance company for the services you receive. This can change if you choose to see an out-of-network doctor. In those cases, you may have to pay the doctor directly, then file a reimbursement claim with the insurance company — another reason why it is beneficial to remain within the network.
If you have a regular doctor that you see and are not in the network, you can nominate them for consideration with MultiPlan health insurance.
Once the nomination is received, your doctor will be contacted and asked if they would care to join the network. If interested, they will go through a screening process. After approval, you will receive the benefits of having your doctor in your network.
MultiPlan PPO Reviews
Both HMO and MultiPlan PPO coverage feature different advantages for policyholders. Choosing the right plan to meet your needs can mean a big difference in the quality and cost of your medical care. Before deciding, consider the following advantages and disadvantages to a PPO health insurance plan.
The Benefits of Multiplan PPO Insurance
- The Range of Services – MultiPlan PPO policies typically include a broader spectrum of services than HMO plans. Most PPO plans will cover preventative care and screenings, prescriptions, routine checkups, treatment from specialists, outpatient surgery, emergency care, and hospitalization. Some PPO plans include coverage for alternative therapies such as acupuncture, naturopathy, and therapeutic massage.
- Flexibility – A PPO plan offers greater flexibility than an HMO plan when seeking medical assistance both inside and outside the provider network. A MultiPlan PPO won’t require you to choose a primary care physician. Policyholders can see specialists without a referral from their primary doctor. However, it’s still a good idea to select a primary care physician if you want to take advantage of wellness programs offered by the insurer.
The Disadvantages of Multiplan PPO
- Costs – Typically, you’ll have a copayment of about $10 when visiting doctors within the provider network. Copayments usually are higher for out-of-network physicians. Another aspect to consider is your annual deductible. Deductibles can vary significantly, and coverage doesn’t take effect until the annual deductible is met.
- Claims Process – Doctors within your MultiPlan PPO provider network will fill out all the necessary paperwork for the insurance company. However, when you seek care outside your provider network, you will become responsible for collecting all required documents your insurer needs for the claims process.
MultiPlan Provider Search
When searching for a MultiPlan PPO provider, consider your available plan options, medical needs, and premium rates. Following these five steps can significantly simplify the decision-making process.
- Consider Your Preferred Provider Needs – If you see a particular doctor regularly, make sure they’re included in the PPO provider’s in-network. Frequent visits to out-of-network physicians could quickly become very costly. Find out if your doctor is in-network by checking the insurance company’s website or asking at the doctor’s office.
- Determine Your Healthcare Needs – Different PPO plans will offer different coverage for various procedures and services. For example, some plans cover birth control, while others don’t. Similarly, some plans may provide coverage for hearing aids, prescriptions, or procedures such as weight loss surgery or tonsillectomies. If you’re not sure which conditions might affect you in the future, consult with your doctor to determine which services and procedures your MultiPlan PPO provider should be offering.
- Compare the Benefits of Each Provider – Each MultiPlan PPO provider offers different levels of flexibility. Examine specific plans from each provider to get a better overview of which plans offer you more value. Suppose you require frequent care or have a costly operation ahead of you. In that case, you’ll want to carefully calculate all the costs of your deductibles, out-of-pocket maximums, copayments, and premiums before making a final choice.
- Calculate the Costs – In addition to premiums, don’t forget to calculate the cost of copays and annual deductibles. Typically, higher premiums mean lower copays and deductibles. A healthy person may prefer to pay lower premiums if they don’t visit a healthcare facility very often. If you visit your doctor frequently, paying higher premiums could save you long-term on copays and deductibles.
- Ask Questions – Don’t be afraid to contact providers and ask questions to determine exactly what coverage includes. You may want to ask about the out-of-pocket maximum, if the coverage includes newborn care, or find out details about prescriptions.
Which Types of Insurance are under MultiPlan?
MultiPlan provides access to a mixture of commercial, property & casualty, and government-sponsored health care programs such as:
- Private and Employer-Sponsored Health Plans
- Medicare Advantage
- Workers’ Compensation
- Auto Medical
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