With open enrollment around the corner, Millennials tend to prefer an urgent care center over a primary care physician.
When you’re not feeling well, you just need to see someone right away.
A survey found that nearly half (45 percent) of 18-29 year olds said they didn't have a primary care doctor. For Americans 30-49 years old, it fell to 28 percent and just 18 percent and 12 percent for people 50 and older.
An eHealthInusrance survey finds that only ten percent of people in the age 18-34 group say that access to their preferred medical providers is of prime importance when choosing a health plan. Cost is by far their number one concern.
Paul Rooney VP of carrier relations with eHealth Insurance said 46 percent of people age 18-34 say that a “fair” price for health insurance could be no more than $100 per month.
"Cost is their number one concern when they're looking to buy health insurance, versus necessarily that provider relationship," said Rooney. "The average premiums are more like $440 a month, unless you have a subsidy. So, we've got a big disconnect there."
Texas Medical Association President Dr. Doug Curran said younger folks throughout the years, not just now, have believed they're bullet proof.
"We just didn't have urgent care centers and medical care in the pharmacies and other places," said Curran.
He said it’s best to find a primary care doctor early on, and is cost-effective, as well.
"Establish yourself with a physician so that you can get some preventative health care. It's much cheaper than going to an urgent care center or free-standing emergency room," said Curran.
He said women tend to have a regular ob/gyn early on.
Primary care physicians can diagnose symptoms a patient may not notice.
A routine health exam may uncover conditions that could go unnoticed by the patient for years and could result in serious chronic health issues.
Annual exams may help your PCP guide you toward healthy lifestyle habits that may decrease the likelihood that you’ll need expensive specialty care.
Developing a relationship with your primary care physician can help keep illnesses at bay. Remember the old adage: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.