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Do you recall rushing to the nearby clinic when you had a mild fever and other few symptoms of the flu? The doctors there who provide you with a primary level of health care are known as Primary Care Physicians or PCPs. Primary health physicians or providers hold significant importance in your general life and health insurance plans too. Hence, you must understand what’s the role of a primary health provider in terms of the kind of services they provide and the influence they have on your health insurance plan benefits. Let’s uncover the subject in detail.
Simply put, a primary care provider is your first point of contact whenever you face health issues. There are several kinds of treatments and services that a primary care physician may provide depending on your health condition and symptoms. Many people refer to primary care physicians as general physicians and family doctors as well. A major part of their responsibilities is to provide preventive care for the patients in case of minor health discomfort and chronic illnesses. From vaccinating patients to prescribing medicines, running tests, and referring to specialists when required, a primary care physician takes care of almost everything related to the first point of action during an illness.
There are few different types of primary care providers classified based on who they treat. Most primary care physicians are specialized in a certain type of medicinal training. This means that several different specialists can be considered primary care providers depending on who they are treating. Following are the most common types of PCPs in the UAE:
Many doctors work with physician assistants and nurses. These medical professionals are not considered primary care physicians. A PCP can only be a full-fledged doctor who has completed medical school and the necessary training. Specialists are also not considered primary care physicians. Some examples can be dermatologists or cardiologists. You generally have to visit your general physician first and if the concerning illness does not seem to be getting better, they refer you to the required specialist. Most specialists only treat patients who have been referred. Some take general cases as well.
Many health insurance plans require the plan holders to choose a primary care provider and list them in the plan. This is not the case for all health insurance plans and providers though. The requirement can differ as per the type of plan you opt for and the unique requirements set by your provider. This type of health insurance plan is also known as a PCP health insurance plan. You will find that the health insurance card of your PCP health insurance plan has a section dedicated to the primary care provider that you choose.
Health insurance plans are categorized in several ways. One of these ways is based on the kind of network they are offering. Restricted networks like HMO which are offered with essential benefits plans may not let you see a specialist covered by insurance unless referred to by the PCP doctor.
Even if your health insurance plan in the UAE does not require you to choose a primary care doctor, you should still consider getting one. Finalizing a PCP doctor can be helpful in many other ways. If you have had a certain primary care doctor from the start, they will be able to keep track of your health and the conditions you may have developed along the way. A track of your health history and your family’s health history can help your doctor in suggesting ideal insurance options as well as providing better preventive care. If your family has shown signs of diabetes over many generations, your doctor can offer ideal suggestions on taking a critical health care plan. Hence, for insurance reasons or to simply make sure you get the best possible preventive care in time, it is a wise choice to have a PCP doctor for you and your family.
Yes, most insurance plans come with an option for the policyholders to change their chosen primary care doctors later when they like. You must confirm this with the provider though. Some providers will only allow you to change and choose a primary care physician from the network list of pre-approved doctors. So, make sure you are familiar with these small things before buying a PCP health insurance plan.
Primary care providers are essential for us in general as well as for our health insurance plans. So, it is a wise step to carefully choose your PCP doctor by taking your time and researching properly. Tally with your family members so that everyone’s needs are met. Finally, choose your PCP doctor as well as the PCP health insurance wisely after proper comparison.