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Things to keep in mind when seeing a doctor for the first time in the USA


Things to keep in mind when seeing a doctor for the first time in the USA

I. How to Find a Doctor or Hospital

Image used under license from Freestock.com

1. You can find a doctor or hospital by searching your healthcare provider network, or PPO. For example, most of the plans offered by IMG now carry access to America’s largest healthcare network, UnitedHealthcare Network. Once you put in your address and zip code, you can see the doctors and hospitals near you that fall within your network. Family doctors are also commonly referred to as Primary Care Physicians, or PCP for short. When searching, you can narrow your results by using some the following key terms: Family Practice, Internal Medicine, or General Practice. These three types of doctors can generally treat patients of any age or gender. There are also doctors that specialize in the treatment of children and adolescents. These doctors are called Pediatricians. You can also narrow your search results by including your specific needs, like which gender you would prefer your physician to be, or your language restrictions.

2. You can also look for recommendations from the people around you, like friends, family, or colleagues.

II. What you should do before seeing a doctor

1. Confirm whether or not the doctor you have chosen is within your network. Generally speaking, In-Network doctors will charge less than Out-of- Network doctors for comparable treatment. More importantly, though, In-Network doctors are more likely to provide direct-billing service, relieving the patient of the burden of submitting claims forms. Keep in mind that with direct billing, after the hospital sends the claim to IMG, they may still mail you the bill. However, you do not have to pay upfront. You can receive the treatment you need first, then worry about payment after.

2. Make sure that the doctor you have chosen is currently accepting new patients. Also make sure that you will not have to wait too long to schedule an appointment, as some doctors are very busy. If the doctor you want is not accepting new patients, or their schedule is too busy to accommodate you in a timely manner, you will have to find another doctor.

3. Schedule an appointment. Usually in the US, the purpose of your first appointment with your family doctor is to submit your personal information and medical history so that the doctor can start a file for you in their records. This way, if you need to see them for treatment in the future, your paperwork will be taken care of and they can get right to treating you. Keep in mind, though, most international healthcare plans do not cover wellness checkups or preventative treatment. Because of this, international visitors may prefer to forego this introductory visit, and take care of the paperwork the first time they seek treatment for an actual injury or illness.

III. What you should bring to your first doctor’s appointment

1. Insurance Card, a piece of photo ID, filled out forms (if required).

2. The names of any prescriptions you are currently taking, the name of any non-prescription medication (i.e. health supplements), the names of any medications you know you are allergic to. Make sure to have all of the above information prepared in English. You can prepare all of this information beforehand.

3. The medical history of your parents and family members, as well as any symptoms you have exhibited thus far. If you are unable to explain yourself sufficiently using English, you can bring a friend or family member that can speak English with you. Try to prepare in advance as much as possible.

4. One more thing to be aware of, you should arrive at the doctor’s office 15 minutes before your appointment.


IV. Making claims and paying the bill after treatment

1. Many of IMG’s plans now provide customers with access to UnitedHealthcare Network. This is a major benefit, because if you see a doctor within this network, they will almost always provide direct billing (they will file a claim for you with IMG, and you do not need to do anything). There is information about UnitedHealthcare Network on your insurance card. When you go to see a doctor, simply show them your ID Card, and they will be able to take care of it.

2. After filing a claim, you will receive an Explanation of Benefits (EOB) from IMG. The EOB is not a bill, it is an explanation of the payment IMG will make for the treatment you received. For example, it will show how much was billed by the doctor, how much IMG has already paid to the doctor, and how much is left over that you will need to pay. If you have any questions about your EOB, there is usually a phone number listed on the EOB for questions, which you can call. If there are no issues with your EOB, you will usually receive the bill from your doctor or the hospital in the mail within 2-3 weeks.

3. The bill you receive from the hospital will include several payment options: pay with a credit card, mail in a check, pay over the phone, or transfer money directly from your account. Make sure to confirm that the final amount you are billed for by the hospital is the same as the amount shown on your EOB.

4. In the US, you may receive 2-3 (or even more) bills for a single doctor’s visit. This is normal. This is especially true if you go to the Emergency Room, in which case you could receive separate bills from the doctor, the hospital, and the laboratory, all for the same visit. In this respect, the insurance policies offered at TaiAn offer customers a distinct advantage, since they all provide access to UnitedHealthcare Network. With UnitedHealthcare Network, you don’t need to worry about sending in multiple claim forms for a single visit to the hospital.

5. If you move to a new residence before you receive your EOB or doctor’s bill, you need to notify your insurance company as well as the hospital or clinic where you received treatment. You will need to tell them your new address to avoid inadvertently missing notification on any payments you will need to make.



Post Time: 2019-12-20 10:12:37 by Steve

Tags: Doctors , Healthcare