Florida medical insurance
comes in various packages and one of them is the health maintenance
organization, or HMO. It has been a popular option in the Sunshine State; at
one time, Florida held the distinction of having the fourth largest number of
HMOs in any one state. Call now for a free quote today at 1-800-554-9142!
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Its popularity fell sharply
over the last decade, however, the decline finally halting in 2009 when the
economy faltered and more citizens moved into Medicare and Medicaid HMOs. That
year enrollment in all HMO practices totaled 3.6 million people, still far
below the high of 5 million members in 1999.
A major appeal of the health
maintenance organization is cost. It usually is the least expensive option for
health care services. With the health care industry in flux as the federal
health insurance program is simultaneously implemented and challenged in the
courts, the comparative value of Florida medical insurance options is a moving
target. If the federal law stands, the cost of membership in less efficient
HMOs could rise as penalties kick in.
Another feature of health
maintenance organizations is that they encourage preventive care. They are
supportive of regular check-ups and health screenings and other instruments by
which physicians can detect anomalies early on before they develop into
major--and costly--health issues. An HMO is not the only health care model that
favors preventive medicine, of course, but it is one of them.
Yet another positive about
HMOs is that they operate with a minimum of administrative overhead. Because
members are all within “the system,” claims are handled without a lot of
introductory paperwork. By the same token, record-keeping of health providers
is more easily accomplished.
HMOs work this way: A monthly
premium gives a member access to a network of health care providers. This
closed network system is the HMO’s strength: A member has ready access to
primary and special care physicians at reduced rates without the hassle of
trying to locate physicians who are taking new patients.
On the other hand, members
are required to use the network of health care professionals. Straying outside
a network means extra cost to a patient, which negates much of the HMO benefit.
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Florida health insurance
will continue to offer residents quality care in several different forms,
including the health maintenance organization, but the character of the
industry could change considerably according to the outcome of the federal
health care debate.