Health Maintenance Organizations, commonly referred to as HMO’s, are there to provide basic and supplementary health services to their members and are usually included in a company’s health benefits package. For self-employed entrepreneurs, online freelancers and the like, it’s something that isn’t there by default and a conscious choice to get a health plan is needed to get one. However, judgement is often clouded by many common myths and misconceptions on HMO’s, and we’re here to help you with that.
Myth # 1: HMO’s are hard to use
This is far from the truth. A lot of major HMO’s have their own office in major hospitals and it’s usually a matter of coming up to their desk and letting them know what you need assuming it’s part of your coverage.
Myth # 2: HMO’s only cover your annual checkups
This is a common misconception of what HMO’s actually provide, and it’s why it’s often a good idea to go through the brochure than just take someone else’s word for it. The fact is that HMO’s cover more than just your annual physical, and often include an allocation for consultations with specialists, and some allowance for certain medicines and medical items like syringes and the like. Some HMO’s even have special promos and tie-ins with non-medical services and goods like discounts to clothing lines, health and wellness services, or coupons for certain food chains and leisure. It’s a relief to know that you’re getting more for what you’re paying for, and that your HMO actually does more than just preventative healthcare.
Source: Etiqa Website
Myth # 3: HMO’s don’t cover a lot of clinics, specialists, hospitals, etc.
HMO’s will have a list of hospitals, clinics, specialists they cover and they often cover all major ones in your area. Although it never hurts to check their website or brochure to know how many are in your area, the fact that coverage goes beyond your place of residence means you’re going to be somewhere close to where you’re covered most of the time. On top of this, specialized procedures and treatments that aren’t limited to the place you live are then effectively viable options since travel would more likely be the only thing you really need to worry about.
Myth # 4: You can’t choose your doctor in an HMO Plan
You can, provided they are listed in your plan. To that end, HMO’s often cover a range of doctors from many specialization and include many more in general practice, enough to cover most of your medical needs.
So there you have it, some of the most common HMO myth-conceptions debunked. Misconceptions are easy ways to dismiss the idea of getting an a healthcare plan, especially when they downplay the actual benefits of having one. The notion of having a healthcare plan, especially when you’re currently in good health and in a good place in your life, often seems baffling or even a downright waste of money when you don’t know how much money you can actually save in the long run. It’s important to remember that health organizations are founded with you in mind, and that your peace of mind when it comes to your health is their business.