Whether you're just booking an annual appointment or something has come up, there's nothing more frustrating than discovering your favorite doctor isn't covered by your insurance plan. Making sure doctors, health services professionals, and institutions that you trust are on your next plan is paramount.

Most health insurance carriers will have a list of professionals and institutions associated with each plan on their website. Sometimes, however, these lists aren't 100% up-to-date, so your best bet is to take the old fashioned route: Pick up the phone and call your healthcare provider.

When you're on the phone, be sure to be specific about the plan that you're selecting. Doctors often work with many carriers, but may not take certain plans. Cross check your doctor's word with the list on the carrier's website to be doubly sure that you'll have coverage in 2017.

If you're new in town or do not yet have a primary care doctor, reach out to friends or family for recommendations now so that you don't have to roll the dice when you're setting up appointments in the future. A little pre-planning now can go a long way to ensuring that your next visit to the doctor mitigates anxiety rather than causes additional distress.

For the New York area, we've handpicked the best plans for freelancers from Oscar, EmblemHealth and CareConnect. Each carrier features an easy search tool which we've linked on every available plan on our site. Take advantage of our simple sign up process now to ensure that you get quality coverage in 2017:

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When you buy through Freelancers Union, the entire freelance community benefits – at no additional cost to you. We’ve got your back when it comes to insurance: no markups, no hidden fees, and we’ll even help you get the subsidies for which you qualify.

At Freelancers Union, we fight for better coverage options for freelancers every day. That’s why it is so important for us to stand together - so that we can be sure the next system provides affordable, quality care to the United States’ 55 million independent workers.