I know that having a PPO doesn’t necessarily ensure better medical care, so every year at open enrollment time, I think about switching medical plans. Unfortunately, none of the doctors that our family sees are HMO providers, so every year, I decide to stick with our PPO plan. This year, a new PPO plan was introduced – it costs $40 less per month but only has half the number of doctors in its network (co-pays and deductibles remain the same). The boys’ pediatrician and our primary physician are members, but my beloved ob/gyn is not.
I am thinking about switching plans anyway. I have about a month to decide. The problem is that I adore my ob/gyn, who saw me through two miscarriages and two somewhat difficult pregnancies. Based on conversations with many friends, I am convinced that he is a superb doctor who keeps up with the latest in medical advances and is an extremely skilled surgeon. (Too many people I know can’t believe how quickly I recovered from my c-sections.) He is also part of a practice that is really well-run – I’m never in the waiting room for long, the business office responds promptly, and my doctor always calls me back within a couple of hours when I leave a message. I certainly can’t say the same for all of my other doctors.
If there was another in-network ob/gyn that I knew I’d like, I would make the switch. If one of the other doctors in the same practice was part of the new network, I’d think about it (I’m sure my current doctor would understand). But with neither of those circumstances playing out, I am thinking that I will just stick with our current plan.
The other concern I have is that if we get referred to a specialist, I’ll forget to make sure they’re part of the new network and end up having to get a new referral at the last minute or owing a lot more money because I used an out-of-network doctor.
So, what would you do? Would you switch plans, or would you stick with the current one?