In the recent months, there has been a lot to read and learn about the Affordable Care Act. Most of the information is centered on physician roles, hospital responsibilities, and what to do if you are currently uninsured. However, if you are already insured there are still some important changes that will affect you. The biggest change being the availability of primary care physicians.
Starting January first of 2014, a large number of Americans who were previously uninsured will be joining the insured pools. Numbers have been speculated to be as high as 32 million newly insured starting in 2014. Though changes to increase availability in the primary care sector are being researched, the immediate future shows the likely shortage of primary care physicians. Although this shortage will be supported by an increase in nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants.
What can you expect starting in January 2014?
- It will become increasingly more difficult to find a primary care physician.
- If your current primary care physician is nearing retirement, you should inquire about availability with the younger partners if possible. If not, look into finding a new primary care physician.
- If you don’t currently have a provider, try finding one before the New Year or as quickly after as possible.
If you already have a primary care physician, you are a step ahead. There are lots of changes coming for 2014 and the more you now, the more prepared you will be for the trends to come. The Crittenton physician network includes hundreds of doctors, all easily searchable. If you are starting the process of finding a new primary care doctor, start here. Also use our guide to finding a Primary Care Physician to learn what questions are important to ask.