PPO plans have been a staple in the health insurance industry for many years. This is because people see PPO plans as the best option available to them. Most independent doctors choose to accept only PPO plans. So, if you are searching for the best health insurance with the best access to the most independent doctors you're going to want a PPO plan.
Recently, HMO plans and HMO carriers have made a huge impact on the industry offering quality health insurance at a much better price. Some of the major factors in why HMO plans have been on the rise in recent years;
First off prices for health insurance have skyrocketed over the last 15 years. HMOs are much better price than PPOs and people are tending to feel the financial pressure of selecting a PPO plan over an HMO plan. If someone is not visiting the doctor regularly choosing a PPO plan is a huge waste of money.
Second, Kaiser has made a huge impact in local communities. For example, Santa Cruz has just opened three Kaiser facilities that have completely changed the health insurance industry in the area. In response PPO carriers like Blue Shield have begun offering HMO style plans that are designed similarly to Kaiser's HMOs.
Finally, it's worth noting that PPO plans are not all created equally. When purchasing a PPO plan through the Health Insurance Exchange created by the Affordable Care Act, PPO plans have a much smaller Network then PPO plans purchased through a group health insurance policy. For example, in San Diego selecting a PPO plan through Obamacare under Blue Shield options, you will only have access to roughly 5,000 doctors. If you are able to get a PPO plan through a group insurance policy Blue Shield Network jumps to over 20,000 doctors available to you.
Health insurance can be tricky and it's worth taking the time to evaluate your options understanding what your costs will be and selecting the plan that makes most sense for you.