So, you’re pregnant. And you’re over the moon about your new baby, but you just don’t feel the same way about your healthcare provider. Whether you’re just learning about Baby+Co. and want to birth with us, or you’re still shopping around – at some point in your pregnancy you may find yourself transferring care to a new doctor or midwife. Below are some helpful tips if you want to know how to change care providers during your pregnancy.
Whatever the reason for your care provider switch- remember that it is common for women to change pregnancy care providers and it is doesn’t need to be complicated!
You deserve to feel respected, informed, and supported in your choices, and sometimes you’ve got to switch practices to find this.
Baby+Co. has put together this list to help you think through your switch to another group. Here’s what you need to know in order to change your pregnancy care provider:
You’ll need your medical records
Make it easy for your new provider to catch up on your prenatal care and don’t be afraid to ask for your records. You are entitled to a complete copy, and practices are used to providing copies, not just for people who are switching but sometimes for insurance or other matters, too.
The break-up convo
It can feel a bit sticky to tell your provider you’re considering someone else. Avoid the awkwardness by requesting your records through a patient portal, calling the front desk, or having your new provider request them on your behalf.
Keep it simple
Your new doctor or midwife shouldn’t need to perform the same physical exam that you had at the start of your prenatal care. Ask your new provider to review notes from the exam you already had, as well as any lab or ultrasound reports. Keep in mind though that your new group may recommend additional testing, or may want to repeat parts of the physical exam if there are any medical concerns.
Save your money for the baby – switching groups shouldn’t cost you
Switching to a new practice shouldn’t increase your out-of-pocket expenses. If you pre-paid your current practice for visits you don’t intend to keep, they should be able to issue you a refund when you switch. You should only pay for visits you’ve already had.
Your change-up shouldn’t affect your coverage but groups can have different arrangements with insurance companies. Keep in mind that this could mean an increase or a decrease in the total cost of your care. Just remember – in the end, it’s worth it!
If you’re changing practices because your insurance is changing, you’ll usually have to meet the deductible for your new plan before your insurance kicks in. This could mean that your total out-of-pocket cost goes up, but towards the end of the year, it’ll even out when all those pediatrician visits are covered! If you need help planning for a big deductible, check out our Well+Prepared classes, where we help you figure out all the money stuff around having a baby.
Timing is everything
Transferring to a new practice earlier in your pregnancy is best, but most practices will accept transferring clients into the third trimester. Don’t be afraid to switch even if you are farther along, especially if you’re seeking a different birth experience.
Check-in with your new doctor or midwife about the kind of relationship you are expecting to have with them. Be clear about what you are seeking and be an active participant in your care. You will have fewer visits to get to know your new team, so communication about your health and your needs is key.