What is HMO?
HMO is an acronym for Health Maintenance Organization, that provides health coverage with providers that are specifically under contract. The full definition of a HMO is an organization that provides comprehensive and specific health care coverage to people who choose to voluntarily enroll in a specific geographical area by member physicians with limited referral to outside specialists. It is financed by fixed periodic payments specified in advance. In layman's terms, HMO is an organization that provides health care to people who make regular payments to it, and who agree to use the specific doctors, hospitals, medical facilities, etc., who belong to this particular organization. These Health Maintenance Organizations represent "pre-paid" insurance plans where the individuals, or their employers pay a fixed monthly fee for services instead of a separate charge for each visit or service. The monthly fees remain the same, regardless of types or levels of services provided. Services are provided only by phsicians who are employed by, or are under contract with, the HMO. HMO's vary in design. For instance, services may be provided in a specifically central in location facility. Equally, services could also only be provided in a physicians privately run practice whos office is contained in a private building seperate from hospitals or primary medical facilities. Each of these differences will specifically be navigated through the HMO you choose, because they will contain their own demographics in determining who and where services are rendered, as well as what costs are attached to those specific locations, services, and medical personel. Remember, you are choosing to be part of this HMO, and would do well to do your own research validating who you are going to be seen by, where they are located, and which medical facility will be providing your needed medical care.
How is HMO different than other health insurance policies?
A Health Maintenance Organization, or HMO, is different from traditional health insurance due to the contracts it carries with its providers. These contracts allow for premiums to be lower, which is due to the fact that the health providers have the advantage of patients directed to them. However, these contracts alwo add many more restrictions to the HMO's members. You see, many individual States here in the United States carry many restrictions that are not imposed on the HMO community. The restrictions within the HMO contracts are different, and far fewer than any found outside of the HMO contracts both between the healh care community and the health care recepients.