It's a smart idea to find a primary care doctor you can trust, whether you've just moved, aged off your parents' plan, or simply haven't found the right doctor yet. To find the right doctor, here are our top tips.
A doctor who sees you for common medical conditions conducts regular examinations, and helps prevent or treat illness is a primary care doctor or primary care physician (PCP). For most appointments, having the same doctor can help you build a relationship that will strengthen your treatment. Your primary care doctor can learn to know you and your unique health needs, and when you are sick, you will have somewhere to go.
But how do you pick a PCP or a primary care doctor? And which type of doctors, anyway, are PCPs? When you're ready to pick a primary care doctor for yourself or your family, consider these factors:
There are four main kinds of primary care doctors, and choosing the right one will depend on your age, gender, and health concerns: Think about which kind of doctor is best for your needs:
Family practice doctors - A specialist in family medicine, also known as a general practitioner, may provide patients of all ages with comprehensive medical care. This can be a perfect choice if you want a one-stop-shop for the whole family. They completed their internship in family medicine with these providers.
Internal medicine doctors – A specialist who only treats adults, internal medicine doctors manage a wide variety of diseases and are equally eligible to offer preventive treatment. Most of their training was devoted by these providers to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of adult diseases.
Pediatricians – If you have a child or family member younger than 18 years of age, you'll want to find a pediatrician. These physicians specialize in childhood disorders and children's preventive treatment, such as immunizations and health tests.
Obstetricians and Gynecologists (OB/GYNs) - Some women, as opposed to a family practice doctor, prefer an OB/GYN as a primary care doctor. This is a perfect option for many women to get all the treatment they need in one place.
Seeing a doctor's assistant or nurse practitioner is also worth considering. Primary care services and medications may be given by these practitioners, and their services usually cost less than seeing a licensed Medical Doctor.
It pays to pick a doctor who is in your network if you use a website search. To define your network name, use your ID card, and consider the types listed above to narrow down your choices. Having a doctor participating with your insurance plan (known as 'in-network') will ensure that you get the best price and coverage for any treatment you need.
Choose a doctor who is in the vicinity of your home or office. You'll find it more convenient to schedule appointments by having them close to home, and you'll be less likely to skip them or be late. Many people opt for a clinic near their office, so they can see a doctor at their lunch hour, but when you are homesick, it might not be as helpful!
Medicare is covered only by home health care services prescribed by a physician and delivered by qualified nurses, although patients must meet strict eligibility criteria.
What is the easiest way to apply for Medicare? Well, you are in the right place! Most people were automatically enrolled and became eligible for Social Security when they turn to 65. We didn't need to apply for Medicare until President Reagan signed the legislation which raises the retirement age in 1983 and begins in 2003.
While eye care is a common need as we age, Medicare coverage is extremely restricted for most vision services. It is normally based on whether you encounter any medical problems that can impair your eyesight.
Many people believe that Medicare is free because, for much of their working life, you have paid into Medicare by taxes, but that assumption is not right.