20 years ago, most Americans had traditional health insurance. But as healthcare costs rose, so did the cost of traditional insurance. Employers offering group health coverage took a big hit, and started looking for ways to provide healthcare benefits that weren’t as expensive.
So employers turned to managed care. Managed care gave them the lower premiums they were looking for, and still provided comprehensive coverage for their employees.
One of the most common — and well-known — kinds of managed care is the Health Maintenance Organization, or HMO.
An HMO administrator — usually an insurance company — puts together a network of doctors, hospitals, and other healthcare providers. The HMO negotiates lower prices for healthcare than would normally be charged. In return, the providers get more business.
The HMOs also regularly review the care being given, to make sure that healthcare is being used appropriately. In fact, the HMO concept was originally introduced as a way to bring Medicare spending under control. It proved so efficient and effective that it was introduced to the mainstream market — with great success.
When your employees enroll in an HMO, they choose a Primary Care Physician. This doctor is their main contact with the healthcare system, and refers them to other professionals when they need specialist care.
Some of the attractive features of HMOs include:
HMOs aren't the only managed care option, though. PPOs — Preferred Provider Organizations — are another popular choice for employers.
Not sure which option is best for your business? Talk to a professional insurance agent. You can use our free service to get matched with agents licensed in your area. Filling out our simple form only takes minutes, and you'll get insurance quotes from agents. When you're ready to learn more about getting your business covered, fill out the form for fast, free quotes.