Should I get a second opinion, and will my plan cover getting one?

Seeking a second opinion can be extremely valuable, especially if you have been diagnosed with a condition that is potentially life-altering and requires difficult choices about treatment plans. Seeking advice from more than one medical expert allows you to gather more information about your diagnosis and potential treatment plans before making decisions about next steps.

Some people worry that a decision to get a second opinion could offend their provider but you should feel comfortable asking for a second opinion, as most healthcare providers consider it part of the job. In fact, more often than not, providers will encourage you to seek out more information and welcome input from other experts—especially in situations where you will be making important decisions that could have a significant impact on your life.

You should ask your insurance company if it covers a second opinion. Often insurance companies will pay for you to see a second specialist. For some surgeries, a second opinion is required and Medicare requires a second opinion for the diagnosis of certain conditions.