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
Most insurance plans cover physician services at a higher rate if the doctors are in-network, which 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 can’t bill higher out-of-network rates if they don’t provide advance notice that they’re not in-network.
Ask for referrals
Another resource to find 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
Finding a trustworthy doctor might require some online sleuthing. Even with a referral, it’s smart to check with your state medical board to ensure the doctor you’re considering has a valid medical license and 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 the hours convenient? If not, another physician may suit you better.
Schedule an appointment
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 things go well, you’ll have a physician to partner with for good health throughout the coming years.
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