Are Maryland residents required to have health insurance in order to see a doctor?
UPDATED: Jul 3, 2012
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Asked July 3, 2012
One of the first things you will be asked when you call a doctor to set up an appointment is who your insurance carrier is. Because of the high costs of most medical procedures, caregivers prefer to know that the patient is covered under a health care plan when the appointment is set. This does not mean that you must have health insurance, in most cases, because most doctors still accept cash as an alternative form a payment.
Some medical centers or doctors' offices may not book an appointment for you in the state of Maryland unless you have insurance. There is no law which says that insurance is or is not required to see the doctor and the decision is left to each facility. In this situation, your option would be to seek the care you need from another doctor, and you will find that most of them will accept your cash as payment.
Another predicament that you may find yourself in is if you have a health insurance plan but your family doctor does not belong to the network you have chosen. If this happens, your insurance will not be accepted and cash will be the only alternative, at a much higher cost than if you were using the insurance you have. To solve this high-cost problem, talk to your doctor to find out if he or she would be interested in joining your policy's network. You may find out that the only reason your doctor is not a member of the network is because no one has ever needed their services from that policy's issuer, and the doctor would be happy to join.
Answered July 3, 2012 by Anonymous