Considered a hybrid, a point of service (POS) plan is a health insurance option that combines elements of both health maintenance organization (HMO) plans and preferred provider organization (PPO) plans.

Like an HMO, a POS requires you to select a primary care physician (PCP) from the plan's network of providers. Your PCP helps direct your health care and can make referrals to specialists and other health care providers. Generally, when your PCP refers you to an in-network specialist, you'll receive full reimbursement for covered services. However, POS plans differ from HMOs because your doctor can refer you out-of-network with the plan typically paying all or some of your medical bill.

POS plans also have some similarities to PPOs because you have the option to "self-direct" care, according to the nonprofit LIFE Foundation consumer education group. Although your doctor helps you coordinate your health care, POS plans give you the freedom to receive treatment outside of the network without a referral. You'll still receive coverage from your health insurance provider, but you'll be financially responsible for a greater portion of your medical bill.

A POS plan may be a good fit for you if you want the support of a doctor to help you make health care decisions, but the flexibility to seek treatment from the health care provider of your choice.