Choosing a care provider

Find the care provider that's right for you

You're pregnant, which means you want the best care for yourself and your baby. You'll need prenatal care, which is medical attention before giving birth. There are many care providers who treat pregnant women, such as nurse practitioners, nurse-midwives, and physicians who specialize in family practice or obstetrics and gynecology. Here are some tips to find the right care provider for you.

How to find a care provider

Visit to make sure the care provider is covered by your health plan. By choosing an in-network care provider, you minimize your out-of-pocket expenses. And be sure to look for the UnitedHealth Premium® designation, which designates care providers who meet quality and cost efficiency criteria. These care providers have stars by their name in the online directory.

Look at the care provider's education/certification. A board-certified care provider has passed all the official tests required for their specialty. This information is listed in the online directory.

  • You can also call the American Board of Medical Specialties at 1-866-ASK-ABMS (1-888-275-2267) or visit to find out if a care provider is board-certified
  • You can ask the care provider when and where he or she was educated and trained

Research the care provider's history. Find out if there are any complaints against the care provider by contacting your state medical licensing board. Make sure any information you get from an online resource is reliable and from a government or medical organization Web site. Visit the American Medical Association at and search "Links to state medical boards."

Call the care provider's office. Are the people who answer the phone helpful? Are you comfortable talking to them? Ask:

  • What hospital does the care provider use? Check with to be sure the hospital is covered by your health plan
  • Will the care provider who cares for me be the same one who delivers my baby?
  • Will I meet all the care providers in the practice in case my provider is not on call the day I deliver?
  • Can I get an appointment right away or is there a long wait?

Set up an interview. Meet with the care provider. Find out if the care provider is:

  • Able to speak in your preferred language
  • Compatible with your personality
  • Easy to talk to. Does he or she listen well? Do you feel comfortable asking questions? Is she or he in a hurry?
  • Available by phone or e-mail between visits to answer your questions. Who do you call when the clinic is closed?

Make a confident choice

The care provider is your partner throughout your pregnancy. It's important to choose someone you are happy with and trust during this exciting and wonderful time.