Choosing a doctor

What to consider when making your choice

When you’re choosing a doctor, there are many points to consider. Here are some important tips that may help you make a choice that works for you, your care and your budget.

Pick a network primary care provider (PCP)

A PCP is a primary care provider, sometimes called a primary care physician or doctor. It can be a family practitioner, internist, pediatrician or general medicine physician1. Although your plan may not require you to choose a PCP2, it’s a good idea to have one. Your PCP generally:

  • Knows your history.
  • Builds an in-depth knowledge of your health over time.
  • Helps guide you on the best path of care.
  • Can advise you when to see a specialist and provide electronic referrals.

View your provider directory

If you already have your health plan ID card, the first step is to sign in to®. There, you can view a provider directory that’s specific to your plan.

If you don’t have an ID card yet, you can still search using a general provider directory for now or and follow the steps below to help you make a choice after your card arrives.

Stay in the network

The doctors and facilities in our network have agreed to provide services at a discount — so staying in network usually saves money. With almost every plan, you’ll pay less with a network doctor, clinic or hospital. Check your network list on before you choose a PCP or make appointments to help prevent cost surprises.

Compare cost and quality

You can also view cost and quality ratings for each clinic using the provider directory on It’s a good way to help you decide which one will work best for you. You can find network doctors, mental health professionals, pharmacies, hospitals, labs and more at > Find Care & Costs.

Look for convenience

You can see a list of clinics on a map using the provider directory on Choosing a clinic close to home or work might make life easier when you need to see a doctor.

Checkup checklists

You can download checklists that focus on a variety of symptoms and topics to help guide your next doctor appointment.

Go mobile

Download the UnitedHealthcare® app for mobile access to the provider directory, or to find nearby care options in your network, video chat with a doctor 24/7 and see your claim details.

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  1. Some states allow you to choose a specialist, like an OB-GYN, as your PCP. Sign in to to see the providers in your network.
  2. Depending on your health plan, selection of a primary care physician may be required.


Virtual Visits phone and video chat with a doctor are not an insurance product, health care provider or a health plan. Unless otherwise required, benefits are available only when services are delivered through a Designated Virtual Network Provider. Virtual Visits are not intended to address emergency or life-threatening medical conditions and should not be used in those circumstances. Services may not be available at all times or in all locations.

The UnitedHealthcare® app is available for download for iPhone® or Android®. iPhone is a registered trademark of Apple, Inc. Android is a trademark of Google LLC. Apple, App Store and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. Google Play and the Google Play logo are registered trademarks of Google Inc.