What’s a Specialist? When Should I See One?

July 14, 2015

A specialist is a doctor who has more education and training in a certain area. For example, a cardiologist is a doctor who specializes in hearts. A gynecologist is a doctor who specializes in women’s health. There are many different kinds of specialists.

For most situations, your primary care doctor is your first stop when you need care. They will tell you if you need to see a specialist. This is called a referral.

For example, if you have a skin rash, your primary care doctor might refer you to a dermatologist, which is a doctor who specializes in skin health.

With some health insurance plans, you need a referral from your primary care doctor before seeing a specialist. However, you do not need a referral to see a gynecologist.

Some insurance plans have different co-pays and co-insurance for visits to specialists. To learn more about out-of-pocket costs for specialists, you can review the summary of benefits and coverage for your plan. And if you have more questions, you can always call your insurance plan directly!

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