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How to Schedule a Doctor's Appointment in the US

Preparing for a doctor's appointment in the United States has a few steps to it. When traveling to a new country, it can be stressful going to a place for medical care that you are not familiar with. By following the appropriate steps and taking care of things before you travel to the country, you can be better prepared for your appointment. By having a basic plan in place, you can shorten your appointment time and increase efficiency while you are at the doctor’s office. Regardless of whether you are starting with a new doctor or going to a doctor you have seen before, it is a good idea to be prepared.

Step By Step

The first step in the process happens before you schedule your appointment. Making a list of what you are wanting or needing to discuss with your doctor happens first. If you have new symptoms that you would like to discuss, add them to your list. If you are looking to get a prescription refilled, put it on the list. If you are interested in getting a general physical or checkup, add that too. Once you have all of the items on your list, it is time to prioritize them. By prioritizing what you want to talk about, you will be able to give the doctor a list and make sure that each item is touched upon. It also will allow you to discuss your most important concerns earlier in your appointment. If they take longer to discuss than anticipated, you can schedule an additional appointment to continue down the list.

Know What Plan You Have

Not only should you bring this information to your doctor's appointment, but you should also know what kind of health insurance plan you have. This will help both you and your doctor verify what is covered, including care and costs. It can also be a large benefit to have a list of the over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, supplements, and other medications that you already are taking. This is especially important if the doctor's office does not have a list already.

Verify Your Coverage

It is a big convenience to verify your coverage with your health insurance provider before making your first doctors appointment at a new place. This allows you to not only verify what plan you have, including what coverage it provides, but also allows you to consider any changes you might be interested in before you visit the doctor's office. It can also verify that your payments are up to date and that your healthcare coverage is active. Going to a doctor's appointment only to realize that something happened and your health insurance is not coming up in their system can provide a lot of hassle to deal with after the appointment.

Find A Doctor

Once you have verified your coverage, you can find a doctor that accepts your healthcare plan. Not every doctor's office and hospital accepts every type of insurance plan in the United States so you may need to do some research. When you speak to the doctor's office, ask them if they cover your insurance plan, and have your insurance information ready to get to them over the phone.

Schedule Your Appointment

After finding a doctor that accepts your insurance policy, schedule your appointment. Write down the date, time, and location of your appointment so that it is readily available. Put it with your list of what you want to speak with your healthcare provider or physician about, as well as with your list of medications, supplements, herbal remedies, vitamins, and other bills and medications you are currently taking.

Attend Your Appointment

Show up to your appointment with all of these things, and check-in at the front desk so that the staff knows you are there. In most cases, you will be called back into the doctor's office to begin your appointment. After your appointment, you may be required to pay co-pays, coinsurance, or other fees, something to be aware of. Some insurance companies require that you file a claim for the expenses after the appointment and the insurance company reimburses you. Other companies have a different process.

File A Claim

If needed, file a claim with your health insurance provider. You will want to have the details of your visit well documented, and your doctor's office should be able to provide you with the appropriate information after your visit.

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