PPO stands for Preferred Provider Organization. Just like an HMO or Health Maintenance Organization, a PPO plan offers a network of healthcare providers you can use for your medical care. These providers who are Physicians have agreed to provide care

to the plan members at a certain rate. Unlike an HMO, a PPO offers you the freedom to receive care from any provider—in or out of your network. This means you can see any doctor or specialist, or use any hospital. In addition, PPO plans do not require

you to choose a Primary Care Physician (PCP) and do not require referrals. For example, if you already have a doctor you like, you can continue receiving care from that provider. If you need to see a specialist, you do not have to first consult with a PCP.

No referrals are required for any doctor, specialist or hospital. Another bonus: If you find yourself in need of medical care when you are away from home, you can see any healthcare provider you choose.