What do I need to know about primary care physicians and specialists?
Who is this for?
If you are a Blues member, this information will help you know your options for getting care from primary care physicians and specialists.
There are many reasons you might need to see a doctor. Sometimes, you need to see your primary care physician for a routine checkup or preventive care such as immunizations. Other times, you might need treatment when you’re sick. And in some cases, you might have a more serious injury or illness and need to see a specialist.
No matter what your coverage is, we have doctors and other health care professionals with specialties available in many areas. While some groups can require you to pay more for specialty care, the office visit copays for the categories listed below cost the same as a regular visit to a health care professional or your primary care physician.
For Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan members
The following primary care physicians and health care professionals are available:
- Family practice doctors perform routine check-ups and provide care for patients. Their specialties include: adolescent medicine, geriatric medicine, general practice, preventive medicine and family nurse practitioners.
- General practice doctors treat illnesses and help educate patients. Their specialties include: preventive medicine, adolescent medicine, family practice and public health.
- Geriatric medicine doctors provide care for aging adults. Their specialties include: internal medicine and family practice.
- Internal medicine doctors prevent, identify and treat heart, lung, neurological and other conditions. Their specialties include: adolescent medicine, pediatrics and geriatric medicine.
- Obstetricians and gynecologists provide reproductive care for women. Their specialties include: obstetrics and gynecology and Ob/Gyn nurse practitioners.
- Pediatricians treat children ages 18 and younger. Their specialties include: adolescent medicine, pediatrics and pediatric nurse practitioners.
- Nurse practitioners treat acute and chronic conditions for patients of all ages. Their specialties include: certified nurse practitioners, family practice, obstetrics and gynecology and pediatrics.
- Physician assistants help diagnose and treat illness and injuries. They're trained across all specialties.
For Blue Care Network members
The following primary care physicians are available:
- Family and general practice doctors treat patients of all ages and provide obstetric and gynecologic care.
- Preventive medicine doctors promote health and well-being for patients of all ages.
- Internal medicine doctors identify and treat illnesses in adolescent, adult and geriatric patients. Most patients are 18 and older.
- Internal medicine and pediatric doctors identify and treat illnesses in infants, children, adolescents and adults.
- Pediatricians treat infants, children and adolescents under age 18.
If you want to select or change your primary care physician, you can do that too. Just go to Find a Doctor to choose a primary care physician.
If you need to see a specialist in another area, such as a dermatologist, you’ll need to obtain a referral from your primary care physician. With some Blue Care Network plans, you can choose to see a specialist without a referral, but your cost of care might be higher.
If you've been a Blue Care Network customer for more than 90 days, you can change your primary care doctor by accessing your account at bcbsm.com.
If you need additional help finding a doctor, you can contact us and talk to one of our customer service representatives.