Does Your Doctor Have To Take Your Health Insurance?

Doctors don't have to work with every health insurance company, but when they do choose to work with one, there are rules they have to follow. If you want to make sure your doctor takes your health insurance plan, you need to choose both the right plan and the right doctor.

Do Doctors Choose Which Insurance They Take?

Doctors choose which insurance they take unless they're employees of a larger medical practice. In that situation, the medical practice chooses which insurance plans it accepts.

Doctors choose insurance plans for a number of reasons that rarely have anything to do with whether they want to keep individual payments. Insurance companies reimburse doctors at different rates, and some of them are harder for doctors to work with. If your insurance company is costing your doctor money, there's a good chance that they'll end their relationship with that insurance company. You then need to choose if you want to change doctors or insurance.

Can You Keep Your Doctor When You Change Insurance?

If you change insurance plans, there's a good chance that you can keep your doctor. Most doctors accept many different insurance plans.

When you change insurance plans, you just need to check to make sure that your doctor is included. Keep in mind that larger health insurance networks may have different lists of doctors for different plans. So if you're thinking about changing plans with the same company, make sure your doctor is still included.

Does Your Doctor Have to Tell You if They Take Your Insurance?

Doctors don't want you to be surprised about what is and isn't covered by insurance, because that's bad customer service. However, doctors who take many different insurance plans may not be familiar with the details of all of their plans. Any time you're planning to change health insurance or are asking about a procedure, talk to your health insurance company first.

When Can You Change Your Health Insurance?

Most health insurance companies only allow new customers during certain times of the year or if you had a life change like moving or changing jobs. The reason is to prevent people from only buying health insurance after they get sick.

The good news is that your doctor's contract with the insurance company usually expires at the same time. So if you find out your doctor is dropping your health insurance coverage, you'll be able to switch to a new insurance company and keep your doctor.

To learn more about how to make sure your doctor takes your insurance, contact a local health insurance company today.