Have a HMO? Make Sure You Choose a Primary Doctor

No matter what plan you have, it’s important to have a primary doctor. Your primary doctor helps you receive the right care in the right place. They coordinate all your health care services and maintain your records.

Primary care starts with regular checkups, health screenings and immunizations. It includes treatment for illnesses, injury and chronic conditions, like a heart condition or asthma. Your primary doctor also arranges for specialty care, lab tests and hospitalization.

If you’re a Blue Care Network HMO member, choosing a primary doctor is even more important, as you’ll likely need a referral from your primary doctor before you can see any other health care professional (except in an emergency). If your plan requires a referral and you don’t get one first, your insurance may not cover the cost of your care.

For example, let’s say you’re having some back pain. Before calling a chiropractor, you go to your primary doctor for an exam. If your primary doctor can’t help you, he or she will give you a referral to a trusted chiropractor in your network. If you go straight to the chiropractor without that referral, you’ll most likely be responsible for the bill.

You can choose to have one primary doctor to care for your entire family, or a different doctor for each family member.

If you have Blue Care Network, you can search for doctors online using our Find a Doctor tool.  If you prefer to speak with someone over the phone, you can also call the Customer Service number on the back of your enrollee ID card or on your Explanation of Benefits statement. They’ll help you look through our list of network doctors and find one that’s right for you.

Looking information on  primary care? You might be interested in these posts:

For more health insurance tips visit bcbsm.com/101 or follow the hashtag #Covered101 on our social channels. If you have a specific question, please submit your query online through our Customer Action Center

Photo Credit: Vic