How to Find a Primary Care Physician
Finding a primary care physician to manage your health care needs is important — and you need to feel comfortable enough to trust their judgment. If you’re searching for a new doctor, try these ideas to make the process easier, faster and less stressful.
Find a doctor in your insurance network
An in-network physician means lower out-of-pocket costs for you.
Most insurance plans will cover physician services at a higher rate if the doctors are in-network, and this means lower out-of-pocket costs for you. To learn whether a doctor is in-network, ask the physician’s office or hospital where you’ll receive care or check with your insurance carrier.
Keep in mind, under a new law, doctors generally cannot bill higher out-of-network rates if they don’t provide advance notice that they’re not in-network. So be sure to be aware of the situation.
Ask for referrals
Another resource for finding a doctor in your area is to ask your family or friends for a referral. Their advice could help narrow your options and reduce anxiety about seeking treatment from someone unfamiliar.
Do online research
It's important to research beyond the referral to make sure you find a trustworthy doctor.
Finding a trustworthy doctor might require some online sleuthing. Even with a referral from a friend or another physician, it’s smart to check with your state medical board to be sure the doctor you are considering has a valid medical license and has had no disciplinary actions.
Consider location and hours
Office hours and location can also influence your choice. Is the provider near your home or office? Do they offer telehealth appointments? Are their hours convenient for your schedule? If not, perhaps another physician would suit your needs better.
Schedule an appointment
Take a list of questions with you and be sure to get to know the doctor.
A good way to evaluate a physician is to see them in action. Schedule an appointment, make a list of questions and get to know the doctor you’re considering. If the conversation and interaction goes well, then you’ll have a physician to partner with for good health throughout the coming years.
Need to update your health coverage? Have policy questions? We’re here to help you anytime and look forward to talking with you soon.