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Where to go for care

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Knowing where to go for care can help you save time and money. Stanford’s medical plans give you access to a wide range of care options and services, starting with free in-network preventive care.

Access to Preventive Care Matters

All Stanford health care plans provide in-network preventive care covered at 100%, including well-woman visits, child wellness exams, and other adult preventive services. All plans cover preexisting conditions, prescription drugs, as well as mental health, behavioral health, and substance abuse care.

Access preventive care — and follow up with lifestyle changes that make you healthier and in need of less care. Building a relationship with your primary care physician (PCP) is important to your health and well-being, as your doctor is often the first one to spot any potential risks and can help you avoid more serious illnesses.

To support your preventive care, Stanford also provides a broad range of programs: 

  • BeWell provides evidence-based personalized support and services, along with wellness activities to keep you engaged, and incentives to reward your progress toward achieving optimal well-being. You can earn points toward incentives for receiving preventive care.
  • The Faculty Staff Help Center offers confidential counseling, workshops, discussion groups, department consultations, and facilitated conversations. Learn more about our other mental health resources for employees enrolled in one of health plans.
  • SupportLinc is an employee assistance program (EAP) for employees living outside of California. This is a confidential resource that helps out-of-state employees deal with life’s challenges and the demands that come with balancing home and work.
  • STAP-approved Healthy Living classes, apps, and coaching also support your well-being.

Preferred Providers for Stanford Select Copay Health Plan and Stanford Choice High Deductible Health Plan

Through the Aetna network, you have two tiers of in-network providers for certain services. When you receive certain outpatient services, such as lab work, imaging, and physical therapy, from preferred providers, you pay less out of pocket. Preferred providers include LabCorp, Quest, and other independent labs, imaging centers, and independent rehabilitation centers offering physical therapy that are not associated with or licensed with a hospital. 

You can find preferred providers by calling Aetna at 833-971-4583 or utilizing the online plan directories:

Find Maximum Savings Providers and learn how to minimize costs

Choose the Right Place for Medical Care

Use the table below to determine the best care option based on your symptoms and care needs:

Reasons for CareWhere to GoAverage CostAvailabilityTip

Preventive or ongoing care

-Annual checkups

-Manage medications

-Referrals to specialists

Primary care physician (PCP)Free or low costRegular office hours; by appointmentUse Aetna’s Advocacy services to find PCPs who are taking on new patients. The advocate can even make your appointment for you.

Medical advice for common illnesses

-Advice and triage

NurseLine or Health Advocacy Services Free24/7; care from any locationAll you need is your phone to get advice anytime. 

Convenient care


Convenience Care ClinicsLow costExtended hours, including weekends; convenient locationsConvenience Care Clinics are often found in local grocery stores.

Care from home or when traveling

-Fever-Nausea-Viruses-Seasonal allergies

Telemedicine (online visit with a doctor)Low cost24/7; low wait timeSet up your account early, even before you need care — it will make your first appointment quick and easy.

Specialty care for a complex condition

-Knee or hip replacements-Cancer-Heart disease

Specialists Medium costRegular office hours; by appointment

SHC has world-class complex specialty care, and your Aetna medical plan gives you access to these physicians.

Included Health is also available to provide a second opinion for treatment of complex health issues.

Serious illness or injury

-Sprains-Cuts-Broken bones-Infections-Minor burns

Urgent careMedium costExtended hours; medium-high wait timeVisit Aetna’s website to find the closest urgent care that’s in-network. 

Life or limb-threatening emergency

-Chest pain-Head injury-Heavy bleeding-Difficulty breathing

Emergency roomHigh cost24/7; high wait timesIf it’s a true emergency, call 911.

Where You Shop for Services Matters

Your medical plans cover X-rays, imaging, and tests like colonoscopies, but did you know that different facilities could charge hundreds of dollars more for these services than other facilities — even for the same quality of care? 

Find Maximum Savings Providers and learn how to minimize costs

Aetna helps you compare costs and find the lowest cost for a service without sacrificing quality. Reach out to Aetna member services at 833-971-4583 for assistance.