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This Web site contains a compilation of more than a thousand consumer finance  columns written by Tony Novak from the 1980s through 2006, updated and reformatted for maximum usefulness today.  New material was added after 2010.

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Careington PPO discount plan

originally posted: 11/22/2006  reposted: 2/18/2011 This post has not been recently reviewed or revised by the author and may be out of date. If you notice an error or are in doubt, please send a new question by email or ask for an update. Email

Q: I'm curious how Premier Total Care Plan works. Do I submit the doctor's bill to the plan and then you pay me directly? What if I currently have health insurance that uses a PPO network and want to use this as a supplement to that?

A: Premier Total Care Plan is a combination medical / dental / prescription / eye care discount plan issued by the Careington group. A discount plan only provides the pricing schedule. Payment arrangements are up to you and your doctor. Careington has a reputation for providing some of the best PPO plans available nationally, based on the low cost, extensive networks and overall reputation of the plan sponsor. A discount plan should be combined with health insurance to provide financial protection as well as obtaining a lower price of service. Most health insurance plans already use some type of PPO network to reduce costs. It is theoretically possible to submit claims simultaneously to two different Preferred Provider Networks (your insurer and Careington) and you would presumable be legally be entitled to pay the lower of the two negotiated amounts. But as a practical matter, this would be too cumbersome. A better approach is to use high deductible insurance so that submission of most medical claim is not needed. A side benefit of this approach is the ability to control your medical information. Many people believe that it is best to keep personal medical data private until and unless there is a need to reveal this to an insurance company. A PPO discount plan does not record or release your medical service information in the same manner as an insurance company.


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