preferred provider organization (PPO)

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An alternative to an HMO network available under certain health insurance plans. A network of care providers who treat members of a health insurance plan for a pre-determined fee. The insured may be required to pay a small co-payment and the rest of the charge is usually covered by the plan. This type of network is less restrictive than an HMO, as the insured is free to choose a hospital and physician.

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