How am I billed in a PPO plan?

There are few things worse than getting really sick, or badly injured in an accident. When something goes wrong with our bodies the very way we experience and interact with the world is changed, for the worse.

Life stops, in a sense, and you feel like everything you’ve ever wished for or been working for goes into limbo until you get better. There is one thing that might be worse than getting very sick or badly injured, however, and that is getting very sick or badly injured without having health insurance. Not only are you feeling terribly, but you’ve also got an infinite amount of stress on top of it as you struggle to pay mind-blowing medical bills. So it’s critical that you get health insurance in order to protect yourself from a financial nightmare. One popular form of health insurance is participation in a preferred provider organization, or PPO. PPOs offer people reasonably priced health insurance, with some important caveats.

How a PPO works

When you enroll in a PPO, you will have access to the doctors and medical facilities that have contracted with the PPO to provide services. You will probably have a yearly deductible as part of your plan, and will need to pay that off first before the PPO will start kicking in its share of the costs. Even then you could still have co-pays to make for each doctor’s visit and trip to the hospital and any medically related treatment.

The bottom line

PPOs and their fine print constitute a dense maze of regulations, rules, clauses and qualifiers. Before you commit to one you need to consult with a health insurance expert who can walk you through any plan you’re thinking of. With his or her guidance, you will be able to make the right decision for your needs, and hopefully avoid any costly errors.