As a member of a PPO (Preferred Provider Organization) plan, you'll be encouraged to use the insurance company's network of preferred doctors and hospitals. These healthcare providers have been contracted to provide services to the health insurance plan's members at a discounted rate. You typically won't be required to pick a primary care physician but will be able to see doctors and specialists within the network at your own discretion.
You will probably have an annual deductible to pay before the insurance company starts covering your medical bills. You may also have a co-payment for certain services or be required to cover a certain percentage of the total charges for your medical bills.
With a PPO plan, services rendered by an out-of-network physician are typically covered at a lower percentage than services rendered by a network physician.