You’re in the market for a new primary care provider. Maybe you’re in college and you’ve aged out of the pediatrician you’ve been seeing since you were young. Maybe you’re moving to a new city. Or, maybe your current provider is retiring. Either way, finding a provider can be challenging. Here are some tips to help make your search easier.
1. Ask your friends and family
Do you have any family members or friends who live in your area? After all, you’re looking for someone to take care of you and keep you healthy, so who better to ask than people you trust and care about you? While you can look reviews online—and this is a good option if you don’t know anyone in your local area—it is helpful to be able to ask questions about a person’s experiences with area providers. You can count on people you know to give you detailed answers to not only find providers, but help you make decisions.
2. Contact your health plan
Some insurance plans may assign you to a provider. This is helpful when you don’t have time to search for a provider who not only takes your insurance, but is also taking new patients. However, you may also be assigned to a provider whose office is difficult to get to from your home or work.
If you call your health plan, they may be able to give you a list of the providers in your area that accept your health insurance plan. Check your health plan’s member guide and online member portal for provider resources.
3. Find providers that meet your health needs
If you have a chronic condition, you may want to choose a doctor that specializes in internal medicine and has training in managing and diagnosing complex conditions. If you have a family and are looking for a provider for both yourself and your children, you may want to consider a family medicine physician who is trained to provide a broad range of care to patients of all ages.
If you have no urgent or pressing health needs, you can even see an advanced practice provider such as a nurse practitioner or physician assistant who is trained to provide many of the same primary care services as a doctor including prescribing medications.
Use these tips to find the right provider for you and your family. If you buy health insurance through the Health Connector, get started using our Plan Comparison Tool to find providers in your area.
Remember, Open Enrollment is still happening until January 23. 2019 if you need insurance or you are already enrolled and want to switch plans.