The answer to this is a little complicated. In general the program only covers treatment by program doctors at the Centers of Excellence or through the Nationwide Provider Network. This requirement is sometimes waived if a condition requires treatment not offered through the program or if a patient is mid-treatment for a serious condition when they are certified. If you are in a complicated or precarious medical situation, it’s worth speaking to the program directly about your options. Getting treatment at one of the WTCHP’s Centers of Excellence, however, does give you access to a team of experienced doctors who are familiar with the unique concerns of the 9/11-exposed community.
The National Program has more flexibility regarding providers because the Nationwide Provider Network is fairly large. If you live outside of New York City you are able to see any doctor that takes United Health insurance through LHI in the National Program (if you are a survivor they must also take your personal insurance). The program can help you locate doctors but patients can also identify doctors on their own and arrange to see them through the program. Sometimes, if the program is having difficulty finding a doctor for a survivor patient in a specific specialty, they are able to waive the requirement that the provider take the participant’s personal insurance.
The program does not have any control over which primary care providers you see or providers you see for conditions outside of their area of coverage.