June 2013

The Public Employees Benefits Board (PEBB) Program is teaming with the nonprofit Puget Sound Health Alliance* to present Own Your Health, a campaign to help consumers become active participants in their own health and health care.
The Own Your Health survey of 5,200 PEBB members showed only a small percentage reported not having a primary care provider (such as a doctor, nurse, or clinic). If you are one of those people who don’t have a primary care provider, you might have a lot of reasons that seem, well, reasonable. Yet none of those reasons outweigh the many benefits of having one:

  • “I’m not sick now and I rarely get sick.” It’s great that you’re healthy today, but what about tomorrow? A primary care provider can help you stay healthy with preventive care such as vaccinations and health screenings.
  • “I can’t afford it.” Getting preventive care now can help you avoid getting more complex—and more expensive—care later. Also, you can talk to your provider about generic prescription drugs, which save you money while providing the same health benefits as brand-name drugs. But affordability is not just about money. It’s about your time.
  • “I’ll find one when I need one.” It’s much better to find a provider before you’re sick, when you have the energy for a proper search.
  • “I don’t have time.” A lot of us are short on time. But when you have a health challenge, you’ll need medical care—and that will force you to make time.

How does having a primary care provider help you?

  • Research shows that people who have an ongoing relationship with a primary care provider have better overall health outcomes and live longer than those people without one.
  • Research also shows that those with a primary care provider save money in the long run. One reason is the primary care provider’s focus on prevention.
  • When you have a primary care provider, you’re never on your own with your health care.

Visit the Your Primary Care Doctor page on Own Your Health’s website for our guide “How to Find the Right Primary Care Doctor for You” (shown at the bottom of the page) and watch the videos about our friend Marty. These steps and insights can help make looking for a provider easier than you think.

* The Puget Sound Health Alliance provides helpful information for people throughout Washington. You can learn more about Puget Sound Health Alliance at www.wacommunitycheckup.org/about-us.

To select a primary care provider through your medical plan, check out your plan’s online Provider Directory or call your plan directly.

Group Health Classic, Value, and Medicare Plan and Group Health Options Consumer-Directed Health Plan
Provider Directory | 206-901-4636 or 1-888-901-4636 | TTY 711 or 1-800-833-6388
Kaiser Permanente Classic and Consumer-Directed Health Plan
Provider Directory | 503-813-2000 or 1-800-813-2000 | TTY 1-800-735-2900

Kaiser Permanente Senior Advantage
Provider Directory | 1-877-221-8221 | TTY 1-800-735-2900
Medicare Supplement Plan F, administered by Premera Blue Cross
Provider Directory | 1-800-817-3049 | TTY 1-800-842-5357
Uniform Medical Plan Classic and UMP Consumer-Directed Health Plan
Provider Directory | 1-888-849-3681 | TTY 711