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Fee-for-service health insurance plans, also called indemnity plans, are what you think of when you think of medical insurance from the "good old days." They are the plans where you agree to pay your premiums in exchange for the freedom to choose your doctors. You are able to see service providers when, where, and as often as you like. You are able to see specialists without having to coordinate a referral from a primary care doctor. Fewer and fewer fee-for-service plans are being offered by employers these days as the premiums tend to be very high.
For those people who travel a lot or who have older children attending college out of state, buying health insurance with a fee-for-service plan can be a good match since managed care plans often limit the provider network from which you can receive services and will not pay any or reduced benefits to out-of-network providers.