A Preferred Provider Organization, or PPO, is a type of managed care
health insurance plan that utilizes a network of physicians and facilities
contracted by the insurance carrier to provide services within negotiated
The most powerful aspect of a PPO health insurance plan is the member's
ability to seek treatment from any provider. Countless reasons exist
that could cause a person to choose services from a physician or facility
not contracted with the health insurance carrier. There is comfort
in the knowledge that the insured member has complete control over
the people and places attending to their medical needs.
Another desirable feature of a PPO is the ability to visit specialists
without the need for a referral from a member's primary care physician.
One of the most common complaints from people covered under an HMO
plan is the carrier's requirement that they visit their family doctor
before seeking treatment from a specialist. Members insured under
a PPO plan do not have these same issues.