There are many factors to consider when shopping for a new health plan: how much it will cost, what your medical priorities are for the coming year, and whether or not your preferred doctors are in the plan’s network.
However, some people don’t have a preferred doctor and are simply looking for the best plan that they can afford. Once you choose a plan based on cost or any other details, ask yourself these questions to ensure you find a doctor who accepts your health insurance. Otherwise, you could be stuck with a hefty medical bill after your next office visit.
Is my doctor in my health plan’s network?
Some health insurance plans require patients to visit health care providers within the network. If you leave that network, your visit could be quite costly. To find out if your current doctor is in-network, do a simple search or contact your health insurance company directly before your appointment.
Many insurance companies will prompt you to create a profile on their website, which you can then use to search for in-network providers. If you prefer to speak with someone directly, you can call the customer service number on the back of your health insurance card. Before scheduling an appointment, be sure to contact the doctor to confirm that he or she does accept your insurance.
Will I have to change doctors with my new plan?
If your current doctor isn’t in your new health plan’s network, it may be wise to find a different one. However, if you enroll in a PPO health plan, your doctor choices will be much less restricted than if you were to select another type of plan.
How much will my doctor’s visit cost?
Before your appointment, talk to your health care provider about how much the visit will cost and what portion of the visit will be covered by insurance. This will allow you to prepare for what type of charges to expect.
What is the best way for me to have more options?
If you purchase a health insurance plan with flexible coverage, such as a PPO health plan, you can visit any health care provider. However, you will still have to pay more for a doctor who is not in-network. Once again, making sure that a doctor is in your health plan’s network can save you money in the long-run.
Do you still have questions about your health insurance plan? Learn more at the Health Insurance Information Center.