Selecting a Physician

When selecting a physician for you and your family, you want the very best medical care possible. There are several factors to consider when you select a physician for your family's medical needs - from accessibility and insurance coverage to medical expertise and customer service. Here are a few questions to ask a prospective physician as you make the best health care decisions for your family:

Yes No  
[ ] [ ] Do you accept my insurance?
[ ] [ ] Do you accept new patients? Are other physicians within your practice accepting new patients?
[ ] [ ] Are you board certified or board eligible?
[ ] [ ] Are you actively involved in a patient-satisfaction program?
[ ] [ ] Do you have immediate access to the latest research, trials, clinical advancements and state-of-the-art technology?
[ ] [ ] If I can't get a same-day appointment with you, do you offer service through physician extenders?
[ ] [ ] Are you continually involved in improving your knowledge of cutting-edge medical advancements? How?

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Health Insurance Coverage

Selecting health insurance for you and your family can be confusing. There are acronyms such as HMO and PPO, varying co-pays and, of course, the monthly premiums. A little information goes a long way when making this decision. Consider these questions during your open-enrollment period:

Yes No  
[ ] [ ] Is the monthly premium affordable?
[ ] [ ] Do I have a choice of types of insurance (HMO, PPO, POS)?
[ ] [ ] Are there out-of-pocket costs? How do they differ for HMO, PPO and POS, and in-network or out-of-network physicians?
[ ] [ ] Are there lifetime and injury caps for this plan? If so, what are they?
[ ] [ ] Do I have access to my physician or hospital of choice with this plan?
[ ] [ ] Are there any service limitations or exclusions with this insurance (e.g., transplants)?
[ ] [ ] Are there requirements for pre-certification or authorizations for preventive, routine, elective, urgent and emergency care?
[ ] [ ] Are extended plans available? If so, what are the conditions?
[ ] [ ] Does the insurance cover a second opinion?
[ ] [ ] Does the plan offer the same benefits if I am out of town?
[ ] [ ] Is there a phone number or Web site where I can get information and help or file a complaint?

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