Find a doctor or dentist: search tips
Finding the doctor who's right for you is one of the most important things you'll do. At Vitals, it's our mission to help you make the most informed decision possible. Our Find a Doctor and Find a Dentist tools make sorting through our database of physician information easy. Just follow these steps:
Step 1: Search by doctor name, specialty, or your condition
To begin using our find a doctor tool (located in the header above), choose whether you'd like to search for a specific doctor by name, by a particular specialty, or by your condition, then enter your search terms or choose from a drop down menu. If you're unsure of what the terms 'specialty' and 'subspecialty' refer to when it relates to doctors, here's an example: Every medical doctor has a specialty; whether it's internal medicine, family medicine, or obstetrics & gynecology. A sub-specialty is an area within a main specialty in which a doctor is very experienced. For example, an OB/GYN is a specialist who may concentrate on reproductive endocrinology, treating mainly patients who have issues related specifically to their reproductive and endocrine systems.
When searching for a doctor, choosing a doctor with a particular sub-specialty is not normally necessary unless you've been instructed by your primary care physician to do so.
Step 2: Choose the location
Whether your doctor has an office near where you live or work is something you should consider, especially if you have to arrange for transportation. Making sure your doctor's office is easily accessible is essential to maintaining your care. Keep this in mind when you use our physician finder.
Step 3: Filtering results to show only those physicians who accept your insurance
As important as it is to know exactly what kind of doctor you're looking for and to be able to find a doctor that meets your requirements in the location you desire, we'd be remiss if we didn't provide you with the capability of searching only for those doctors and dentists who accept your specific insurance.
In our doctor finder tool, tick the box below the location field and enter the name of your insurance company. The names of plans offered by your provider will appear in a drop down box for your selection.
If health insurance is somewhat of a mystery to you, here's a list of common insurance terms and their general meanings. Please check with your provider for information on what these terms mean in regards to your specific plan.
Primary care physician
This is the main doctor you see and can be a general or family practitioner, an internist, an obstetrician or a gynecologist. Most insurance plans designate this doctor as your first point-of-contact for medical care. If your primary care physician determines that you need to see a specialist, he/she may need to prepare a referral for you and your insurance company.
This is a written notification from your primary care physician that you are in need of a specialist's services for a specified condition. Many health insurance providers require a referral before providing benefits for specialist care and, in turn, many specialists will not see patients without a referral.
This is a fixed dollar amount that those insured must pay out-of-pocket before their health insurance provider will begin to pay benefits. If you have a $250 deductible, you are responsible for paying the first $250 of your medical expenses before your insurance plan will begin to pay out benefits.
In-network vs. out-of-network
As described above, benefits and pricing of services may vary based on provider participation in managed care networks. If your regular doctor participates with your insurance plan, then you will be eligible for in-network benefits (the most coverage). If they do not participate, you will be seeing the doctor out-of-network. In this case, you may be eligible for partial coverage or reimbursement, or solely responsible for payment.
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