Appointments and Getting Care

Primary Care Provider

Your Primary Care Provider (PCP) is your personal Physician who is most familiar with you and your health history.

Your PCP will:

  • Give you all your routine care, including regular checkups, shots, treatment, prescriptions and medical advice
  • Keep your health records
  • Refer (send) you to specialists if needed
  • Order X-rays, mammograms or lab work if you need them

When you need routine care, you will call your PCP for an appointment.
Be sure to call your PCP before you get medical care, unless it is an emergency.

For an emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.


When you need health care:

  • Call your PCP
  • Have your L.A. Care ID number ready on the call
  • Leave a message with your name and phone number if the office is closed
  • Take your BIC and L.A. Care ID card to your appointment
  • Be on time for your appointment
  • Call right away if you cannot keep your appointment or will be late
  • Have your questions and medication information ready in case you need them

If you have an emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.

How to Communicate with Your Provider

How Long Should I Wait for My Appointment?

Your health is our top priority. We want to make sure you can get care when you need it. Here's what to expect when you request an appointment.

Routine Care

Appointment Type: Checkup or follow-up

Appointment offered within: 10 business days or less

Urgent Care

Appointment Type: For conditions that need attention quickly but are not life-threatening

Appointment offered within: 48 hours or less

Emergency Care

Appointment Type: For life-threatening conditions that need care right away

Appointment offered within: Immediate, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

First Prenatal Visit

Appointment Type: Checkup for pregnant women (You don't need a referral)

Appointment offered within: 2 weeks or less

Routine Specialty Care

Appointment Type: When your Primary Care Provider (PCP) wants you to see an expert in one part of the body, or in a particular type of illness, (called a Specialist). Your PCP must ask L.A. Care for approval before you see a specialist (this is called a referral)

Appointment offered within: 15 business days or less

Please remember to call your doctor's office if you can't make it to your appointment. 

If you are having trouble making an appointment or if you have questions, please call Member Services at 1-888-839-9909 (TTY 711), 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including holidays.

Other Services

Nurse Advice Line: You may also call the Nurse Advice Line at 1-800-249-3619 (TTY 711), 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

​Help Getting to Your Appointment: We work with a transportation vendor to help those who need a ride get to and from the doctor's office. 

Member Services: Call Member Services at 1-888-839-9909 (TTY 711)to find an urgent care clinic close to you. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including holidays.

Services in Your Language

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L.A. Care Health Plan offers interpreter services in your language for free, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

We will make sure you get services and member materials that you understand. Our staff can help you find a doctor who speaks your language or make sure you have an interpreter when you need one.

Learn More