How to decide between a bad PPO and unknown HMO health plan?
November 2, 2012 3:33 PM Subscribe
It's health benefits selection time at work! I'm fed up with the PPO I have now, but the only other choice I can afford is an HMO. Is switching a good idea or a bad idea? (I'm looking at Aetna HMO specifically, but I'd value more general input too.)
posted by Jeanne to health & fitness (11 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
At work (New York City government) I'm currently with the cheapest option, the GHI CBP plan. The problem is that while there seem to be a fair number of doctors in the network, I've had the experience of calling up eight or nine in a row and found that all of them were no longer taking new patients, or no longer taking new patients on GHI, or just plain not answering their phones. The doctors I have seen have... not always been that competent.
Among the health plans I can choose between, the only other one I can afford is the Aetna HMO. There seem to be a lot more doctors who take it, and in theory it doesn't seem like it would be that bad to have to get a referral to a specialist if I need one, but I've heard such horror stories about HMOs that I'm just not sure. (Alternately, is GHI better than I think, and I just need some tips and tricks for finding a doctor?)
Other possibly relevant information: I am 30 and generally healthy. I don't currently have a primary care physician because it's been such an enormous hassle to get a doctor's appointment at all. Both plans provide pretty similar levels of coverage, and I'm part of a union that provides prescription benefits so I don't have to worry about that part.