Preferred Provider Organization (PPO)

Published: | Updated: September 21, 2017

Definition - What does Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) mean?

A preferred provider organization, or PPO, is a health care network in which policyholder of a certain insurance company can choose between many different doctors in the insurance company's network. Out of network doctors will still be covered by the insurer. However, the policyholder will typically have to pay more to see them.

Insuranceopedia explains Preferred Provider Organization (PPO)

Members of PPOs are able to see specialists or other doctors without first having to see a primary care physician. This is often seen as a desirable feature for a policyholder as it gives them more freedom. Preferred provider organizations are an alternative to health maintenance organizations, or HMOs. HMOs are similar to PPOs in that they also have a network of covered health care providers. However, unlike PPOs, HMOs do not cover medical expenses for providers who are outside of the network.

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