You should pick a PPO if:
- You like the flexibility of choosing out-of-network doctors even though you might have to pay more for them.
- You don't want to jump hoops and request a referral from a primary care physician if you see a specialist. A PPO lets you see a specialist without a referral.
- You don't mind paying the doctor directly and going through the hassle of filing a claim with the insurance company.
- You're willing to pay a deductible and higher copays in exchange for flexibility.
You should pick an HMO if:
- You don't want to bother with filing claims and would rather leave it up to the doctors and physicians to file the claims to get paid.
- You don't want to pay a deductible.
- You're OK with sticking to the in-network doctors.
- You want lower monthly fees and copayments.
- Note that there may be some limitations on services it covers. You can always appeal it, but it's not certain if you will succeed.
In a nutshell, if you're in good health and aren't picky about doctors, an HMO would be the right plan for you. But if you have favorite doctors that are out-of-network or if you have special needs, get a PPO with a low deductible.