The cost of healthcare in the US, across all categories, is among the highest in the world.
There are various factors driving these high prices and the situation does not seem set to change any time soon. The need for affordable health insurance to cover these costs is clear. A simple visit to your family doctor can be quite high if you don’t have this financial safety net.
But just how much does a doctor visit cost without insurance, and what can you do to find an affordable solution? Is it possible for you to save money on doctor visits when you don’t have health insurance coverage? We answer these questions and more, below.
What Does A Doctor Visit Cost Without Insurance?
Visiting a doctor without insurance can be costly. This is not a situation that you want to find yourself in. Unfortunately, the reality is that we will all, at some time or another, have to see a doctor. And this often happens at the most inconvenient times, when you don’t have spare funds.
So, how much can you expect to pay for doctor visits without insurance?
You may pay up to to $600 for a doctor’s visit without health insurance. This figure may be even higher if a combination of lab tests and medical procedures is required.
There are some ways around this, though. While not all doctors advertise it, some offer reduced rates for uninsured patients if you pay upfront. Also, as doctors’ fees can vary widely, take the time to phone around for the best prices.
How Much Does A Doctor Visit Cost With Insurance?
The type of health insurance plan and coverage you have dictates what you’ll pay for a doctor’s visit.
Different plans cover different types of treatment and procedures. High deductibles may also affect the final cost you’ll face. Many private health insurance plans require policyholders to pay something before the treatment.
A doctor’s visit usually costs as low as $15 in copays. However, this can be doubled if seeing a specialist.
Factors That Affect The Cost Of A Doctor’s Visit
There are several factors that affect the cost of a doctor’s visit, and you will have little control over these factors. This applies whether or not you have health insurance. But seeing a doctor without any form of health insurance compounds the issue.
The most important factors driving the costs of doctor visits are:
- Type of facility where you seek medical care
- Kind of medical practitioner you see – general practitioner or specialist
- Your patient status – returning or new patient
- Treatment and meds
- Specialized tests
But what is the reason behind these high costs? What is driving the high cost of healthcare?
The fact is, clinics, doctor’s rooms, and other healthcare options all cost money to build, maintain and run. Specialized medical equipment is very expensive. Utilities in the building need to be paid too. And there’s also the cost of admin and marketing their services.
The staff also need to be paid, and that covers all staff, not just doctors. For example, even the most basic doctors’ rooms will have the doctors, a receptionist, and at least one person in charge of cleaning.
The combined cost of all these expenses can be very high.
Your doctor’s visit fees are contributed to those payments. This is not so much the case in government-funded healthcare, but there will still be certain financial implications for the patients. And that is why health insurance is so crucial.
Where To Go If You Don’t Have Insurance
Medical issues, especially emergencies, can’t be put on hold until your finances improve. Health insurance is essential for peace of mind, and we urge you to apply for it as soon as you can.
However, in the meantime, you need to know what you can do and where you can go without medical insurance.
So, what can you do when you have no health insurance and need to see a doctor? You have more options available to you than you might think.
Community Health Clinic
You can get primary health care despite your employment status, financial situation, or lack of health insurance.
Community health clinics offer a range of medical services such as preventive health care, health screenings, vaccinations, and reproductive health services. These may be available to you at a low cost or sometimes at no cost.
There are numerous community health clinics throughout the US. Look for a free clinic in your state, online at freeclinics.com and you’ll find addresses, operating hours, and other pertinent info.
Telehealth services are an affordable, convenient way to access health care from your own home. Many doctors now offer this helpful service and consultation fees range from $65 to $260.
Do you have a cold or a minor allergic reaction that you need advice about? You’ll describe your symptoms over the phone, and can also have medication prescribed along with medical advice.
While telehealth calls are suitable for minor issues like the flu, other more serious issues that require tests can’t be handled telephonically. Most doctors will insist on an in-person follow-up visit for more urgent conditions.
Private Doctor’s Offices
Doctor’s consultation fees can differ widely from one region to the next. Some doctors may offer a special fee if you don’t have health insurance. But be sure to mention your lack of a health plan when you call to book the appointment.
That will prevent you from getting any nasty surprises when it’s time to pay the doctor’s bill. If they are not able to provide you with an affordable consultation without health insurance, they will know where to refer you to.
Never risk your life and your health because of your financial health. Early treatment is essential in a medical emergency, and you shouldn’t let a lack of insurance delay you. So don’t hesitate to report to your nearest emergency room if you have a serious medical situation.
Always choose to go to an emergency room if you are suffering from shortness of breath or severe asthma attacks. Seizures, serious cuts and injuries, pregnancy complications, and suspected strokes or heart attacks also should be treated at ER rather than clinics or doctor’s offices.
You’ll get emergency medical treatment, despite your health insurance status. If you are not able to get to the emergency room yourself, call 911 for assistance.
Urgent Care Facilities
An urgent care facility may be a less expensive option than an ER, especially for medical issues that are not potentially life-threatening.
There’ll be a fee for seeing healthcare providers in addition to any medical procedures or treatments recommended. You may pay around $100 – $200 at an urgent care clinic, which is lower than a visit to a doctor’s office.
Issues such as minor bone breaks, muscle sprains, and cuts or abrasions can be treated at an urgent care facility. Fevers and related cold and flu symptoms can also be treated here.
How To Get Health Insurance You Can Afford
One of the most dangerous things you can do is to self-diagnose yourself. Without the proper medical skill and knowledge, and access to medications, you might ignore a serious medical condition.
People who have no health insurance are often tempted to do this, rather than risk seeing a doctor without insurance. And the most common reason why people don’t have health insurance is financial constraints. But a low income doesn’t prevent you from getting the health coverage you need.
Even no-income households can be helped, through systems like the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. We understand that the technical jargon of some health insurers can be off-putting. But you don’t need any specialized knowledge when choosing health insurance for yourself and your family.
Learn what kind of health insurance you qualify for, here at Enhance Health. Gaining access to quality healthcare that is also affordable was never easier. Our friendly and capable agents will help you compare health plans, determine your needs, and apply for health insurance.
Tips For Saving Money On Doctor Visits
When you need to see a doctor without insurance, it can be stressful. But stress is just as bad for your health. So avoid the stress of high medical bills without insurance, by following these simple tips:
Ask For Referrals
Your friends, colleagues, and loved ones are a wealth of information. Tap into this pool of knowledge. Ask your friends, family, and neighbors to see if they know of any affordable options near you.
This can save you a lot of time and expense trying to find one you can afford. Alternatively, make some calls. You could save a large amount of money on doctor visits for the price of a few phone calls.
Enquire About Cheaper Rates For Cash
You’re not the first person to have to visit a doctor without health insurance. Depending on where you go, there may already be a protocol in place for uninsured patients.
Some doctors are prepared to reduce their consultation fees for cash payments when you don’t have health insurance.
Discover Health Facilities That Are Designed For You
Whether you are a struggling single parent, a disabled person, or even a military veteran, there will be medical facilities aimed just at you.
You’ll have access to most primary healthcare services, including nutritional and mental health services. Look online for support groups, and tailored medical services for people in your situation.
All veterans are entitled to free healthcare at any of the VA medical facilities. Free emergency mental healthcare is now also available.
Start Taking Better Care of Your Health
Prevention is better than cure, they say. And this is a fact. You can prevent costly doctor visits down the line by taking better care of your health right now.
Take the steps to better health by learning more about the status of your health. Make the necessary changes to your diet and lifestyle.
Attend Free Health Screenings
Many communities organize days where free health screening is offered. Blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar checks are just some of the possible services. Check online if any of these free services are offered in your area, and take advantage of these health services.
Discuss A Payment Plan
Don’t be afraid to tell your doctor that you’re going through tough times and need some help. While your doctor may not be willing to reduce their fees significantly, they may let you pay off more expensive visits. Discuss what you can afford and how much time you’d need to settle the bill.
This can apply to medications, too. Many drug stores and pharmacists may also offer an account for people who regularly have to fill prescriptions. Speak to your doctor and your pharmacist about paying off higher amounts.
Take Advantage Of Samples
Medical reps provide doctor’s rooms and other medical facilities with free samples of new medications. If you can’t afford your usual prescription medication, ask if there are samples you can try of new medications that may work for you.
That being said, never take medication prescribed to a family member or friend without consulting your doctor. Doing so puts you at risk of misdiagnosis, overdose, and potentially dangerous drug contra-indications or side effects.
Start A Medical Savings Plan
One of the best ways to deal with the issue of medical treatment without health insurance is a medical savings plan. This doesn’t have to be a formal savings product, although that would be best.
Commit to putting away a small amount of money every month, no matter how small. When you have a bit of extra cash, add it to your medical savings. In time, it could add up to the amount you’ll need for that unexpected doctor’s visit.
Despite your best intentions and healthy lifestyle habits, at some point, you’ll need to visit a doctor or other healthcare professional. This can be quite expensive if you’re not prepared for it.
The solution to high doctor visit costs is clear. You need comprehensive health insurance to meet these medical expenses. Contact us today for the best-priced health plan to suit your needs.