Fee-for-Service (FFS) Plans with a Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) - A Fee-for-Service plan provides flexibility in using medical providers of your choice. You may choose medical providers who have a contract with the health plan to offer discounted charges. You can also choose medical providers who are not contracted with the plan, but you will pay more of the cost.
Medical providers who have contracts with the health plan (Preferred Provider Organization or PPO) offer discounted charges. You usually pay a copayment or a coinsurance charge and do not file claims or other paperwork. Going to a PPO hospital does not guarantee PPO benefits for all services received in the hospital. Lab work and radiology services from independent practitioners within the hospital are frequently not covered by a PPO agreement. If you receive treatment from medical providers who do not contract with the health plan, you either pay them directly and submit a claim for reimbursement to the health plan or the health plan pays the provider directly according to plan coverage, and you pay the remaining charges directly. You pay a greater amount of the out-of-pocket cost.