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Old 03-09-2010, 11:13 AM
 
17 posts, read 46,226 times
Reputation: 14

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I will be reloacting to Florida soon. Currently have Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance but that is changing. I will be keeping my insurance under COBRA when I leave (which is very expensive) Our company is coming up for renewal & it looks like we will be changing to Aetna with the choice of a PPO or HMO plan. There is the debate about how many doctors do not take HMO any longer & would hate to pay thru the nose for insurance & find out my choice of doctor is too limited. So the question: Do the doctors in Florida willing accept HMO's or is it hard to find a good one who will? I am sure the PPO will be more expensive but need to have the piece of mind to find a good doctor if the situation arises. (ps I am pretty healthy but as we all know health insurance is not something to go without if given the option)
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Old 03-09-2010, 02:09 PM
 
Location: Tampa, FL
162 posts, read 604,832 times
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It really depends on the area. When we first moved here we had a PPO - loved the insurance, always had great doctors. Unfortunately the one doctor I really wanted to use wasn't accepting new patients on that plan. I did find another doctor which I loved, very close to home. Unfortunately my husband's company took away the PPO option and stuck us in an HMO. My previous physician is not on that plan and I had to switch. I haven't found anyone that I would rave about - I'd been with the same family practice nearly my entire life before moving to Florida. I thought I'd be with the new one until she retired!

You can go into the carrier websites and check for physician names, proximity to home, hospital affiliations - more importantly board certifications which I find are lacking here - then from there - ask others for recommendations. You can also check these boards for recommendations and access all sorts of info on the doctors here. I recently walked past a sign on a physician's office which read "This doctor has chosen not to carry malpractice insurance". Reasoning could go either way on this one .....
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Old 03-09-2010, 03:50 PM
 
17 posts, read 46,226 times
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great things to think about. We will be in the dunedin to st pete area. probably Clearwater area.
Any one else have ANYTHING to add?
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Old 03-09-2010, 03:55 PM
 
Location: Myrtle Beach
3,380 posts, read 8,178,722 times
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I have not lived in florida, but I have lived with an HMO plan and then a PPO plan. Without a doubt go PPO. PPO is way more flexible and has a lot less rules. You don't need a PCP to refer you to a specialist on a PPO. Also, a LOT more places accept PPO instead of the HMO.

One other thing, real quick, if you ever go the ER and the hospital accepts your insurace be sure that the doctor does as well. The ER Doctor is a seperate entity from the Hospital and may not be a provider, resulting in an unexpected bill in your mailbox which you are on the hook for. This happens way more than it should.
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Old 03-09-2010, 04:00 PM
 
13,773 posts, read 34,885,446 times
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I think the biggest problem will be finding a doctor who is taking new patients or at least that was my experience when I had a PPO. If you have a doctor who quits your ins carrier finding a new one you like or is in the area where you live/work is often a challenge.

Also the website may say they are taking new patients but if you call they are not.
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Old 03-10-2010, 07:26 AM
 
17 posts, read 46,226 times
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I didnt even think of the doctors not taking new patients... To many patients or too few doctors?
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Old 03-10-2010, 09:09 AM
 
Location: Tampa, FL
162 posts, read 604,832 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keeper View Post
I think the biggest problem will be finding a doctor who is taking new patients or at least that was my experience when I had a PPO. If you have a doctor who quits your ins carrier finding a new one you like or is in the area where you live/work is often a challenge.

Also the website may say they are taking new patients but if you call they are not.
I had the same problem with the PPO. I used the on line listing as a reference and called several to see if they would accept new patients. Website says yes, office says no.

If you have a choice, PPO is still my recommendation but again, you'll need to determine if the doctors are accepting new patients. I also line up some specialists on my PPO wish list too like opthalmologists, ob/gyns, orthos, etc. Then I call around, do reviews, ask for opinions, etc.
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Old 03-10-2010, 09:29 PM
 
Location: Tampa
1,236 posts, read 4,188,375 times
Reputation: 944
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlaskaKash View Post
I have not lived in florida, but I have lived with an HMO plan and then a PPO plan. Without a doubt go PPO. PPO is way more flexible and has a lot less rules. You don't need a PCP to refer you to a specialist on a PPO. Also, a LOT more places accept PPO instead of the HMO.

One other thing, real quick, if you ever go the ER and the hospital accepts your insurace be sure that the doctor does as well. The ER Doctor is a seperate entity from the Hospital and may not be a provider, resulting in an unexpected bill in your mailbox which you are on the hook for. This happens way more than it should.
I agree! Go with PPO. We have Aetna PPO. The HMO is very limiting. We had United Health Care (job change and health insurance change), I find Aetna PPO has more choices.
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Old 03-11-2010, 06:53 AM
 
265 posts, read 883,894 times
Reputation: 251
As a healthcare worker my advice is this, better insurance costs more for a reason. You have greater flexibility and while not ethical some practices do screen this when accepting new patients.

In the bigger scheme of things, this issue of HMO or PPO preference is going to change as healthcare reform progresses. As continued cuts occur to Medicare and Medicaid, you can be sure that Physicians will be glad to see any privately insured patient walk in the door in the near future. At this point, being turned away will be the least of your concerns..
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