Primary Care Doctors
If you are in an HMO plan, your primary care doctor will look after all your medical needs and even provide you referrals if you need them. The plan will usually give you a list of doctors from where you have to choose your primary care physician. If you change your coverage, you may need to change the doctor also, because the he may not accept the new plan you are under.
Tips on Finding the Right Doctor
Some plans like HMOs require that you should have a primary care doctor at the time of enrollment. Since he will be your health care guardian, it is very important that you chose one with care. The best way is to go for a doctor you are familiar with. He will be familiar with your health care needs. If he is not a part of the health plan you want to opt for, you will have to go for a new doctor under managed care ones. If so, ask for recommendations from family members or friends. If you have a hospital that you prefer, get a list of doctors from them and then chose one.
Find out if the doctor is board certified. All doctors must have licenses, but some are board certified. It means that he has completed years in training and has passed an exam.
Also find out what kind of complaints, if any, have been registered against the doctor. Your state licensing board will be able to give you additional information on this. You can also contact the insurance department of your state for more information.
It is always a good idea to visit you doctor beforehand and introduce yourself as a new patient.