By Julie Appleby and Jordan Rau
Consumers seeking health policies with the most freedom in choosing doctors and hospitals are finding far fewer of those plans offered on the insurance marketplaces next year. And the premiums are rising faster than for other types of coverage.
The plans, usually known as preferred provider organizations or PPOs, pay for a portion of the costs of out-of-network hospitals and physicians.
They are the most common type offered by employers, and some consumers in the individual marketplaces find them more appealing than health maintenance organizations and other policies that pay only for medical facilities and doctors with whom they have contracts.
“Out of network providers were causing carriers to lose a lot of money, and they really needed to put their thumbs down on that.”
Only one of those would provide substantial coverage to the two hospitals her family wants access to next year, a local community facility and a children’s hospital where her 12-year-old will need special surgery.
But at $1,109 a month, the policy is twice as costly as the cheapest plans in the area. Continue reading