How to Choose a Doctor and Where to go for Care
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It’s important to know how to choose a doctor that’s right for you. In fact, choosing a doctor is one of the most important decisions you’ll make about your health. Plus, when you use a doctor within your plan’s network, you get the most out of your plan and save more money. Check out the "Where Should I Go For Care" graphic here.
In Network or Out of Network?
If you want to get the most out of your coverage for the least out-of-pocket cost, you should find a doctor in your plan’s network. Insurance companies negotiate better rates with doctors, hospitals and healthcare providers within their network, so staying in-network saves you money. Selecting a doctor that’s outside your plan’s network will end up costing you more because you’re likely to get less coverage and benefits and pay more out of your pocket for them. Choosing an in-network physician is also easier because his or her staff will handle the insurance paperwork for you, which is called processing a claim.
Primary or Specialist?
Do you need a primary care physician that you’ll want to see for routine issues and examinations? Or, do you need a specialist that focuses on one specific area or issue? If you’re looking for a specialist, make sure he or she is board-certified in the field. Board certification means that the specialist has taken a training program and passed required examinations in that field. Primary care physicians may be certified as well, but their certification is likely to be more general, such as Family Medicine or Internal Medicine.