Finding the right doctor you feel comfortable with, you trust and who meets your medical needs is worth the time and effort it takes. So, where do you start? First, your options will largely depend on whether or not you have insurance.
If you HAVE insurance
- Contact your insurance company to get a list of doctors in your area that participate in your insurance plan (approved providers).
- Many health insurance plans require you to choose a primary care provider as your regular doctor.
If you are covered by the Medicaid to 26 Program call the Foster Care Meds team for a list of doctors. If you already have a doctor you’d like to use, call the doctor’s office to find out if they take DSHS Medicaid.
If you are covered under the Basic Health Program, go to the Basic Health website at www.basichealth.hca.wa.gov to find a provider.
If you DO NOT have insurance
- There are health care centers that will care for you even if you have no health insurance. You pay what you can afford, based on your income.
Narrowing Your Search
Think about what kind of doctor you want
- Is the doctor experienced with your particular health needs?
- Are you more comfortable seeing a woman or a man?
- Where is the doctor’s office located? Will it be easy for you to get there? Is it accessible by public transportation?
- How long does it take to get an appointment after you call? Can you be seen on the same day if you have an urgent need? Does the doctor have evening and weekend hours?
- Does the office process insurance claims, or do you pay up-front for services and file the claims yourself?
- Do you want a traditional doctor or one who is open to alternative medicine?
- Does the doctor or a member of the staff give advice over the phone for common medical problems?
Find out about the doctors on your list
- Call and ask questions or call and try to schedule an interview with the doctor.
- Ask if the doctor is a participating provider with your insurance plan and can take new patients.
It’s up to you to keep looking for that right doctor. You deserve the best care possible, so if you’ve chosen a doctor who you are not happy with, don’t hesitate to continue your search.