The United HealthCare website offers several directories that members can search to locate primary care physicians. UHC plans and available providers vary, so members should find out their particular plans' requirements, and what services are covered prior to choosing a physician.
Some plans require members to choose a primary care physician who manages their care and makes referrals to specialists as necessary, states United HealthCare. Many plans cover 100 percent of the cost of annual checkups and other types of preventative care that the primary care doctor provides, but they require copayments for treatment of injuries or illnesses. Certain plans require members to choose a provider from within a network, and this may also apply to specialists, which can limit a patient's options for obtaining specialized care. Other plans allow out-of-network care but at a higher price for the patient.
A member should regularly evaluate his needs and how well his current plan meets them, advises United HealthCare. For example, plans with low monthly premiums may be more appropriate for people who generally only need preventative care, while plans with higher monthly premiums can reduce overall costs for a patient who is chronically ill or who otherwise requires more frequent medical care.