How to Choose a Medical Specialist Your Insurance Covers

Regular visits to your primary care physician provide essential preventative care that helps you stay healthy. However, you sometimes need to see a heart, diabetes or surgery specialist. Do you know where to turn? Learn how to choose a medical specialist who accepts your insurance as you reduce expenses and improve your healthy. 

1. Ask Your Primary Care Physician for Referrals

Your primary care physician is an excellent resource when you need a reputable, experienced and trusted specialist. Ask him or her for a list of suggested specialists who can handle your unique needs.  

2. Read Your Policy

Many insurance policies include details about covered services, including specialists, so inspect the paper or online copy of your policy. Look for the specialists your physician recommended or search for doctors who practice near your home or office.  

3. Call Your Insurance Company 

Your insurance agent or a customer service representative will gladly help you find a covered specialist. Simply state which specialist you need to see, share the desired location or provide the names of specialists your primary care physician recommended. 

4. Call the Specialist

If you know exactly which specialist you want to see, call him or her directly. The front desk clerk can usually advise you on whether or not the specialist accepts your specific insurance.

General Tips to Consider When Choosing a Specialist
While insurance coverage is an important factor to consider when choosing a medical 
specialist, think about several additional factors, as well. 

*Verify board certification. Ideally, the specialist you see should have completed a residency and passed a competency test in his or her field.
*Check for good standing. The Federation of State Medical Boards offers details on a specific specialist's standing and helps you choose a reputable one. 
*Ask about payment details. Even with insurance coverage, copays, x-rays, blood work, tests and your deductible can be pricy. Some specialists also require you to pay in advance. Discuss these details and make payment arrangements before your first appointment.

A specialist provides advanced medical treatment and care and is an invaluable part of your overall health. Be sure the specialist you need to see is covered by your insurance before you schedule your next appointment. If you change jobs, move or need to switch insurance companies for any reason, consider insurance options that include your preferred specialist.

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