POS Plans

Point of Service Plans — POS Plans, Coverage & Quotes

A point of service plan (otherwise known as a PPO plan) is a type of managed care. While most of your care is still controlled by your POS health plan, you are allowed a certain amount of flexibility with this type of student health insurance. Under a POS plan, you can go to hospitals and physicians which are either inside or outside the preferred network. If you utilize health care services within the student health insurance plan network, you will be able to take advantage of discounted rates unavailable if you go out-of-network

The POS insurance plan is different from an HMO or a PPO. You are required to select a primary care physician, unlike in a PPO. You will first need to get a referral from your primary doctor–your “point of service” for health care–if you want to see a specialist. If your doctor refers you to a specialist outside of the your PPO medical plan network, the visit will be covered at a lower risk. That’s in contrast to a HMO, which would force you to pay the entire cost of the visit out-of-pocket. Still, students’ health insurance is most affordable when you remain within the network of your POS health insurance plan network. When you utilize services within the network, you don’t have to worry about filing claims or receiving reimbursement from your POS insurance plan. If you go outside of the PPO’s network, those tasks become your responsibility. When looking for college student health insurance while studying for exams and going to parties, do you have the time for that? A POS healthcare plan may also refuse to cover any specialist visits if you ignore or fail to select a PCP. In those cases, you may have to pay the whole cost of the treatment immediately.

POS health plans are a generally reliable avenue for cheap student health insurance. In exchange for giving up some of the control a PPO offers you (e.g., self-referral), POS health insurance plans will give you lower premiums and co-payments, as well as little or no deductible for in-network health care. Remember that going out-of-network will add on around $300 per year in deductibles to your costs, in addition to increased co-payments and co-insurance. A POS student health insurance plan is more costly than a HMO, because it is less limited.

When looking for a POS insurance plan as a college student, think about several factors. First, the monthly premiums for the POS plan must fit within your budget. It should also include the approved providers each one covers. Take a look at the list of doctors in the POS plan’s network. Make sure any specific doctor or specialist you may want to continue seeing is on the list. Above all, as your primary care physician will be the “gatekeeper” to your health care, choose one that you like and trust. That way, you’ll minimize conflict between you and a physician who refuses to give you a referral you need in order to take advantage of lower in-network co-payments.

Are you a student interested in POS health insurance? VitalOne’s licensed student health insurance agents can help you compare POS plans and provide you with a cheap student health insurance quote.

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