Pick a Plan, then Find The Right Doctor
Picking a health insurance plan is only half the battle. Now you have to pick your primary care physician.
You’ve picked out your health insurance plan, now take the next step and find a doctor. If you’re enrolled in a Medicare health insurance plan or under 65 health insurance plan then you need to think about finding the doctor who’s right for you. Don’t worry, we’ll walk you through how to do it:
Know what types of doctors you’re looking for
If you don’t already have one, you’ll want to find a general practice doctor and set up a first visit. This doctor can be a family practice or general internal medicine doctor. For the kids, you can use a pediatrician. If you are a women, you can us your gynecologist. Essentially, you just need a doctor who can do a thorough checkup for health issues that may need to be treated.
If you have an HMO plan, this doctor will be your primary care physician, or PCP. If you have a PCP but want to change to another doctor, you should contact your insurance customer service department for to let them help you walk through the process of changing doctors. Remember, it’s important that you are comfortable with your primary care physician.
Your PCP will track your care and even help you find a specialist, such as a heart doctor or surgeon, if you need one. Always make sure any specialist you see or hospital you visit is in your network. Without a referral from your PCP to a network specialist, you could end up paying the full cost of your care.
Know where to look:
Your health plan has a certain group of doctors you can choose from. It also has a list of hospitals, clinics and other medical services you can use. This is your plan’s provider network. The network agreement outlines what tests and treatments are covered, how much the insurance company will pay them for their services, and where certain medical test or procedures can be done under your plan’s benefits. This agreement protects you from paying unknown charges.
For you, this means you have to find a doctor in your plan’s network in order to have your visits and treatment paid for by your insurance at the best rate. Networks vary from plan to plan, so make sure you know the in-network doctors for the health plan you bought. If you’re not sure, check before you go!
Make Your First Appointment
Your new doctor will want you to schedule a visit to get you set up as a new patient as soon as possible. At the first appointment your doctor will ask you questions about your medical history, do a physical exam, take your blood pressure, and draw blood to check for various other health conditions. You might think you’re healthy and don’t need to waste your time with a visit. However, it doesn’t take long and probably won’t cost you anything. Most preventive care visits are covered in full by your insurance. If you want to find out for sure, call your doctor’s office and have them look it up before schedule an appointment.
Make the most of your health plan by using it to stay healthy, rather than waiting until you get sick. You will benefit from regular preventative care.
We are here to help you make sure you have the right insurance plan to meet your needs. Give us a call with any questions about your coverage.