Health Insurance Online
Phone Icon
Call now to speak with a Licensed agent (866) 954-1892

Insurance Type:

Kids and Health Care: IPAs Offer a Good Solution

Consumer advocates made much during the late 1980s and early 1990s about the harsh treatment HMOs give members. They told stories -- many factual, some exaggerated -- about so-called "drivethrough deliveries," assembly-line surgeries and miserly gatekeepers.

One of the legitimate issues raised by this muck-racking: Some plans put business-oriented administrators -- rather than doctors -- in decision-making positions with regard to the delivery of care.

An impersonal approach has been the source of many problems for HMOs in the public mind. So, most of the plans have begun using networks of socalled "individual practitioners." In these individual practice associations (IPAs), you will get your care in a specific doctor's office. More than half the people enrolled in managed care plans are in IPAs.

IPAs are especially well suited for kids seeing pediatricians. Because so much of the health care that kids need is preventive, they seldom need more than visits to "their doctor's office." Using an IPA, you can be enrolled in an HMO but get the kind of service that indemnity insurance would provide -- once you've found a participating pediatrician that you like.

Google Plus One