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This Open Enrollment Season: Meet Your Neighbors

The options are open on what seems like 90 tabs on your computer. HMO or PPO? Medicare or Medicare Advantage? Open Enrollment means choices, and choices are great … if you know what you’re choosing between.

Meet four Orange County residents who are weighing the same options as you. They come from different walks of life and have different health care needs, but they have a few “must haves” in common:

  • Access to Hoag’s world-class specialty institutes
  • Access to Hoag’s growing roster of renown, compassionate primary care doctors and specialists
  • Online scheduling options

That’s why all four of these women are choosing options that give them access to Hoag. At Hoag, we provide the luxury of choice without compromise. Unparalleled specialty, primary and preventive care all within one award-winning network.

Meet Lauren, 33, of San Clemente. She’s recently married and is deciding between the HMO or PPO plans offered by her tech employer – or those offered by her husband’s banking industry job.

“Matt had a skin cancer scare six months before our wedding, so we know how important it is to have access to Hoag. He’s also an avid surfer and has had his share of urgent care visits at Hoag’s Monarch Beach location, so everyone there knows us well,” Lauren said.

Hoag is their top-choice for their health care needs. That’s why, for Lauren, the decision about whether the couple uses her employer plan or Matt’s comes down to access and value.

“As we look towards the future and expanding our family, having access to a top-notch health care system is so important,” she said. “We’re leaning toward an HMO plan with Matt’s employer because it looks as though it will give us the most of what we need at this stage of our lives – access to Hoag doctors and Hoag Hospital.”

Meet Jessica, 39, of Irvine. This year, she plans to start a family of her own and has been researching fertility treatments, prenatal care and the birthing experience at Hoag. She has a PPO and is enticed by what she sees as “full-service care.”

“The fact that well known Pacific Women’s Healthcare Associates is affiliated with one of the best hospitals in the state has made this an obvious choice for me,” Jessica said. “Hoag offers every birthing experience you could want, but within a top-tier hospital setting. That gives me total peace of mind.”

Jessica has interviewed potential OB/GYNs and is exploring Hoag’s midwife program, as well.

“Because I am considered ‘older,’ I think I’m automatically in the high-risk pregnancy category. I find it very appealing that Hoag has this amazing team of perinatologists, OB hospitalists and a dedicated emergency department that is available exclusively to pregnant women,” she said.

Jessica said she is also looking past pregnancy to pediatrics, and is impressed by the level of care and the convenience that her friends with kids have experienced with Hoag Medical Group.

“For me, I just wouldn’t choose a health plan that didn’t give me access to Hoag,” she said. “If the very best is within arm’s length, why would you need to go anywhere else?”

Meet Karen, 47, of Tustin. The first time she came to Hoag was to give birth to her daughter. “The second time was less fun,” Karen said. Her mother was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer that nearly cost  her life. Karen brought her mom to Hoag and accompanied her to many appointments at the Hoag Family Cancer Institute. Her experience is encouraging Karen’s decision to move her family to a PPO plan this year.

“Once we got to Hoag, I was blown away by the level of care that my mom received. We were able to do our research and choose the specialist who we thought would provide her with the care that she needed,” Karen said. “Our nurse navigator was our savior. She really was. She kept track of everything and checked in on my mom when I was at work. She even checked in on me, as the caregiver, to make sure that I was doing OK.”

After a mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiation, Karen’s mom was declared cancer-free.

“When she rang that bell at the cancer center, I just cried and cried,” Karen said. “I know that if my daughter, or me or anyone in my family has to go through something like that, I want to make sure that we have the specialized care and the flexibility to receive the highest level of care, like my mom did.”

Meet Lisa, 64 of Crystal Cove. As her 65th birthday nears, she is considering retirement and is doing her homework to find out how she can maintain access to Hoag. Lisa’s children were born at Hoag, and her Hoag primary care physician has helped her manage her blood pressure, which became a problem during the pandemic.

“I certainly don’t feel my age and I’m grateful for good health. I’ve always had a deep appreciation for Hoag. It is something we can’t take for granted: having a world-class health care system in our own backyard. I mean, the research that they’re doing at Hoag, and the specialists that they’re bringing in from all the top institutes in the nation makes me feel very lucky,” she said.

Hoag offers a Medicare education program that features classes that cover topics such as an overview of Medicare Advantage plans, the differences between a Medicare Advantage HMO vs. Medicare PPO plans and more. The classes also go over topics like leaving employer coverage, Medicare premiums and Medicare drug plans.

Lisa is focused on finding a way to maintain her access to her Hoag primary care physician. Several longitudinal studies have found an association between continuity of care and healthy aging.

“I signed up for one of the classes, and so I have to see what I learn there before I make my decision,” she said. “It’s daunting, because I’ve worked for more than 40 years, so this is a brand new chapter in my life. But I am grateful I have a choice to choose Hoag.”

We’re here to help at all stages of your health care journey.  For more information call 855-450-4464.

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