Your annual physical exam is the best way to find solutions to your medical and health-related problems. However, not having insurance means you will need to pay for these exams.
So, if you are wondering how much an annual physical costs without insurance, then keep reading as we break down the costs.
What Does An Annual Physical Cost?
The great part about having insurance means that your annual physical and other check-ups or procedures cost you close-to-nothing.
However, if you don’t have insurance coverage, a physical exam will cost you up to $200.
The national average is closer to the $200 region as most physicals will involve additional tests and treatments.
These physical exams provide you with an excellent opportunity to discuss health concerns with your doctor and get their advice. They’re also a great way to keep your health in check and identify any areas of concern.
The problems can be major or minor, and hearing what a medical professional has to say will put your mind at ease.
Having annual physicals is key to monitoring your health as you age. You won’t need to have an annual checkup if you’re under the age of 30 but at least try to go every 1 to 3 years.
Once you reach the age of around 65, annual or quarterly physicals are more common.
Where To Get An Annual Physical
There are a few places to get an annual physical. Your family doctor or general practitioner is the first place to go.
Certain Urgent Care centers perform annual physicals, as well as universities, health clinics, and medical centers.
Telemedicine services are also becoming increasingly popular as we move toward the digital age. You’re able to get physical without being physically present through video calling conferencing.
Your family doctor should be your first choice though as they are someone who knows you and your full medical history.
What To Expect At Your Annual Physical Visit
Going for your annual physical is an important check-up for all ages. Your doctor will examine your medical history and if certain conditions, like diabetes, run through your family.
You’re asked a series of questions as you’re examined from head to toe. This includes everything from your eyes to your pulse, to your heart and lungs, as well as things like your mucus membrane.
They want to monitor how your body is functioning to get a good idea of the state it’s in.
You’ll be asked to do a series of lab work once the inspection is finished. This includes deep looks at your kidney and liver, as well as a white and red blood cell count.
They will also ask you to do a urinalysis to look for debris or protein spilling the urine. If that happens to be the case, it’s an indication of kidney damage.
Full blood work is needed to test blood count, cholesterol, blood sugar, vitamins and mineral count, thyroid screening, forming a metabolic profile for the various systems in your body, and for std screening.
A lab follow-up visit will occur once the tests have been completed. This is where your doctor will determine if something is heading in the wrong direction and needs to be addressed.
The elderly tend to go for annual physicals the most when compared to other age groups as their health problems are more complex. They’re also more prone to chronic diseases.
Are Annual Physicals Covered By Insurance?
Before we can determine whether annual physicals are covered by insurance, we need to understand the difference between preventative and diagnostic care.
Preventative care includes checkups and physicals, screening tests, and immunizations.
Diagnostic care is when you have symptoms of an illness or injury, or when you are being monitored for a chronic condition, and your doctor wishes to diagnose or monitor the condition.
This may happen after your annual physical if certain signs or symptoms are detected or progressing.
Your annual physicals fall under preventative care meaning that insurance will almost always cover them. If your insurance doesn’t cover the full amount for the annual physical, you’ll likely only need to pay a small amount out of pocket.
Insurance also covers diagnostic care, but you may need to pay a majority of the fee.
If you’ve finished up with the annual physical and your doctor recommends you return to monitor your condition, you should make sure that you have insurance coverage to help you deal with the costs.
You will need to pay for both types of visits if you don’t have insurance and this can be expensive.
How Do I Prepare For My Annual Physical?
Scheduling an appointment will be your first step to preparing for an annual physical.
This gives your doctor time to ready your file and medical portfolio ahead of the physical. Most doctors won’t allow you to simply walk in and request a physical, so an appointment is key.
Your doctor may recommend fasting before your physical. It’s not always necessary and it all depends on your conditions.
If your doctor wants to check on your stomach and gastrointestinal tract, then they will inform you in advance so that the proper preparation can take place.
You also need to prepare the list of medications that you are currently taking.
Doctors may have this information stored in a medical portfolio or profile of yours but it saves them the trouble of searching.
There are a few things you can do the day before the physical too.
The Day Before
Getting a good night’s rest is a good way to prepare for your annual physical. This ensures that your blood pressure is as low as possible ahead of the physical.
You should avoid any salty or fatty foods as these elevate your blood pressure leading to inaccurate results for your physical and certain tests not being able to perform.
Also avoid strenuous exercise ahead of the physical as it can raise your heart rate and cause your potassium levels to drop.
Anything that increases your blood pressure should be avoided entirely, including coffee and energy drinks.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I lower the cost of my annual physical?
An annual physical isn’t a static list of things that a doctor must examine. You pay and choose what you want to be tested for.
For example, if you’re going into your appointment not wanting to do any blood tests, then you don’t need to do those tests and thus won’t pay for them.
You will need to take a list of your medication with you to your physician. So another way of saving money is to ask your doctor to prescribe generic versions of the medication.
Should I dress a certain way for the annual physical?
Physicals, procedures, operations, check-ups, and anything where you’re being examined will go smoother if you’re dressed comfortably.
The best clothes to wear to a physical are ones that you can slip into and out of with ease. These include buttoned shirts, sweaters, dresses, or any form of athletic wear.
Some doctors will ask you to change into a medical gown or robe if the clothing you’re wearing isn’t easy to take off and put on.
The same logic will apply to shoes. Some doctors may examine your feet or require you to lay on the medical bed so opt for loafers and slip-on shoes.
What must I bring along to the physical?
Your photo identification is a necessity when visiting the doctor so be sure to bring it along.
If you’ve had a check-up before your annual physical, you might’ve been given some documents. You will need to complete these documents and return them before or on the day of your physical.
As mentioned, you will also need to provide a list of all your current medications, including the medication’s name, dosage, and frequency of administration.
You should include any vitamins, supplements, or herbal remedies that you regularly use as part of that list.
You will need to bring your current medical history and records, especially if you are seeing a new practitioner.
Finally, you will need data about your family’s health history. This includes your immediate family, children, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins.
Your annual physical is something that will ensure that you’re on the right track when it comes to your health. However, going once a year and not having insurance is bound to rack up a large bill.
You can get affordable insurance that’s catered towards your monthly income by giving Enhance Health a call. We’ll help you find the right health insurance plan for your needs.