Knowing How to Speak the Language

An immediate problem when attempting to buy health insurance is comprehending the jargon that is often used. There are four kinds of family and individual plans which you need to be able to distinguish in order to get the best quote, and five important terms which you need to know the meaning of.

The Best Four Health Plan Types


Also known as ‘Preferred Provider Organization’ plans, these are the health plans that are most often used by American families. It basically means that you will receive your medical aid from hospitals and doctors that are approved by your insurance provider, and who are on their list of ‘preferred providers’. It is your responsibility to ensure you visit these health service providers, or else you may receive only limited coverage, and perhaps none at all.

You should purchase a PPO plan if:

* Your family physician is one of your insurance Company’s ‘preferred providers’.
* You want specific health care, but don’t have any problems working with the organizations outlined by the insurance company.


Also known as ‘Health Maintenance Organization’, HMO’s also have a list of medical providers who they deal with exclusively, and offer a wide variety of medical services to its members through these organizations. HMO members have to select a PCP (Primary Care Physician) who will provide you with most of your health care and point you in the direction of specialists recommended by the HMO. Though there are emergency exceptions, generally, if you receive care from a non-HMO provider, you will not be covered.

If you have no issues with selecting a PCP, then a HMO plan is right for you. It is also a good choice if you are a believer in prevention being better than a cure, as HMO’s will cover you from immunizations and check-ups.

III: HSA-eligible Plans

HSA, also known as ‘Health Savings Accounts’ can be used in conjunction with PPO plans with higher deductibles. An HSA, as the name suggests, is an account that allows you to save money for health services, and is similar in nature to a 401 (k). Your HSA account savings will continue to roll into the following year, every year, providing you with interest payments, which makes it very different to a flexible savings account. Combining an HSA with a health plan containing a high deductible is a great way to earn a tax write-off, and save money on your health care into the bargain.