Sometimes you know it’s time for a change. But what if that change involves finding a new primary care doctor?
Maybe you’ve moved, and it’s a long drive to your current doctor. Perhaps you don’t feel heard. Or you just think it would be better to find someone new. No matter what the reason, you’re ready to act.
Some change is hard, but this one doesn’t have to be. Here’s where to start.
Take the First Steps
Your first step is to check out Blue Access for MembersSM (BAMSM). Logging in to our secure member website gives you information based on your health plan and network. You can also learn more about your benefits and gain access to member services. There you’ll find your coverage details, access resources and tools, and more.
If this sounds like a lot all at once, you don’t have to worry. Just take it one step at a time. For example, it’s easy to find a list of doctors in your network.
Once you have logged in to BAM, go to the Find a Doctor or Hospital tab to search for network providers in your area. You can use Provider Finder®, which has an easy-to-use guide to help you choose the best network doctor for your needs. It also allows you to look for a doctor by medical specialty, ZIP code and gender.
Remember, if you visit a doctor who is not in your network, you may have to pay more for your care. Sometimes, you may have to pay the full cost.
If your health plan is an HMO, there may be special procedures for changing doctors. Check your benefits book or call the customer service number on your member ID card if you have questions.
Don’t wait until you are sick to find a personal doctor. It’s a good idea to find a physician in advance. That might be an internal medicine doctor or one in family practice. For a woman, it might be a OB-GYN. Or you can select a pediatrician for your child.
Remember to visit your primary care doctor for routine care. You may save money by seeing your regular doctor for the flu, minor aches and sprains, and other health issues instead of going to an urgent care clinic or emergency room (ER).
There are times when using a walk-in retail health clinic or urgent care center is a good option. Make sure you only use the ER when there’s an emergency.
Once you’ve selected your new doctor, help your doctor give you the best care by always being open and honest. Asking questions also improves the quality of care you receive. Ask about recommended tests and treatments. Ask questions any time you don’t understand something.
One way to build a relationship with your doctor is to schedule a yearly exam. That’s the time to talk to your doctor about your health, risk factors and family medical history to determine the health screenings you need each year. Getting the right preventive health services, screenings and treatments improves your chances of living a longer, healthier life.