How to Find a Primary Care Physician
Whether you just got new insurance and your current primary care physician no longer accepts it, you have relocated, or you just want to switch doctors, finding a doctor that works for you is one of the most important steps that you can take toward managing your health. Looking for ny affordable health insurance isn’t easy, but we’re here to help.
A primary care doctor is your health and wellness “home base.” It’s the person you will see for most of your medical needs, such as routine wellness visits and screenings, non-emergency illnesses (sore throats, the flu, etc,) and the doctor you will discuss any health concerns that you may have with. If you have an HMO, a primary care doctor will also refer you to a specialist.
Since your primary care practitioner plays such an important role in your health and well-being, you want to make sure that you choose someone who you feel comfortable with; someone that you can speak openly and honestly to, and someone who specializes in the areas that meet your specific healthcare needs.
So, how do you go finding a doctor to fill this very important role? Here are some tips to guide you in choosing your primary care physician.
Find Someone Who is In-Network
The majority of healthcare plans negotiate discounted rates with specific doctors. These physicians are “in-network” and you will pay less out of your own pocket when you visit one who works with your insurance. Making sure that you choose a primary care doctor who is “in-network” will allow you to avoid being hit by a surprise – and often costly – “out-of-network” fee, or worse, having to pay full cost out of your pocket because the doctor doesn’t accept your insurance.
In order to find a listing of doctors who are “in-network,” check the directory provided by your health insurance company. You can also call your insurance provider directly to find out if a specific doctor is in your network. New York family health insurance plans will help to choose an in-network doctor.
Find Someone Who Specializes In Your Specific Needs
Once you have a list of “in-network” doctors, you can begin the process of narrowing down your options. Various types of doctors are identified as primary care providers, including General Practices, Family Practices, and those who practice Internal Medicine. For children, Pediatricians are considered primary care physicians.
Here’s how the three main primary care providers differ:
- General practice doctors can treat patients of all ages and genders. You might also be able to find osteopaths (D.O. instead of M.D.) in a general practice, a physician that practices a form of alternative medicine that focuses on the musculoskeletal system.
- Physicians in a family practice can treat people of all ages and genders, as well. They can treat a wide range of conditions, from the flu to earaches. Family practice physicians can also treat ailments that you would see a specialist for, such as a sports-related injury or women’s healthcare needs.
- Doctors who practice internal medicine specialize in preventing, diagnosing and managing various types of diseases and chronic conditions. They tend to work specifically with adults.
Consider Getting Referrals
You might feel more comfortable choosing a primary care provider who someone you know and trust uses, such as a friend or a family member. Ask around to find out if anyone you know would recommend their general care doctor. If you don’t know anyone to ask, you might want to consider asking another doctor, a pharmacist, or even your dentist to refer you to a primary care physician. If you are relocating, ask the doctor that you are currently using if he or she can recommend someone in your new location. Discount health insurance plans are a dime a dozen, but the right one is hard to find.
Don’t Forget Logistics
The location of the doctor may also be an important factor for you to take into consideration. For example, it might be easier for you if your primary care provider is situated near your home, or maybe someone who is closer to work would be better for you. Don’t forget to find out about office hours, too. Is the doctor only open during regular business hours, or is he or she open in the evenings and on weekends? This is important because it will determine whether or not you will have to adjust your schedule for visits.
Schedule a Consultation
Once you find someone who you think you would like to work with, schedule a consultation.
During a consultation, you’ll get to meet and speak with the doctor, discuss any concerns, see the office, and determine if he or she is someone you feel comfortable with.
Your primary care physician is one of the most important medical health professionals you will work with. Making sure you choose someone who best suits your needs is vital to your overall health and wellness. Looking for cheap health insurance New York, call today.