Healthcare is one of the most important basic needs that a human being has. To be in good health, one must take necessary steps such as eating a healthy diet or exercising. There are certain times, however, when you can’t avoid being ill or being injured. When this happens, it’s imperative that you seek medical services immediately. Going to see a medical practitioner for a consultation to address your health problems could result in you being prescribed medicines, or being recommended to go for some tests as well as undergo certain medical procedures. These services can be costly to patients who do not have medical insurance. They could end up paying more money to get suitable treatment for their medical conditions or incur massive debt on their credit cards.
Not having medical insurance may greatly impact the way in which you receive medical services. There are many types of insurance such as roof insurance but the most sought after is health insurance. Health insurances help to cover medical bills for treating health conditions such as arthritis and also provide cover for dental care. The cost of healthcare is relatively high and not being insured could see you digging deeper into your pocket to access medical care. The cost to visit your physician’s office may vary depending on some factors such as where you reside, your reason for paying them a visit, and the type of doctor you intend to consult. If you require the services of a specialist doctor, you should expect to pay more than if you were to get medical services from a primary care physician. If you have a complex medical issue that needs to undergo various tests or consultation with a physician, you may also end up digging deeper into your pockets to cater for the expenses.
The state you reside in can also play a part in how much does it cost to go to the doctor without insurance after you visit a doctor. Generally, urban areas tend to have a high cost of medical services compared to rural areas. Residing in a state with a high cost of living can also impact the cost of medical care depending on the area you live in. The high cost of living can affect the medical services you receive because of the cost of purchasing medicines as well as the fees needed to book a consultation with a doctor or medical specialist.
Different Health Insurance Plans
It’s often recommended that you get insurance if you are not covered as a dependent of someone else’s health insurance plans like a parent or a spouse. A good insurance plan can assist you to settle medical bills and cater to your medical needs and treatments. Some different types of health insurance are:
- Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs)
- Point-of-Service (POS) plans
- Exclusive Provider Organizations (EPOs)
- Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs)
Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs)
Health maintenance organizations provide you with various healthcare facilities, a network of active hospitals as well as doctors that you can pick out and use their services. HMOs, require the insurer to choose their preferred primary care provider from the network they avail to them. They get to fully be aware of you and assist in coordinating your healthcare needs. They also avail ideal referrals to consult in-network specialists like an orthopedic doctor or local eye doctor. HMO plans typically cost lower compared to other types of insurance as long as you stay within the in-network they provide.
Exclusive Provider Organizations (EPOs)
Exclusive provider organizations offer individuals a network of active healthcare providers they can choose from. Usually, EPO plans do not include providing coverage for medical care in out-of-network except for emergency cases. This means that a patient will have to cater to the bill on their own if they choose to visit a healthcare facility or provider outside of the plan’s local network. An individual may or may not be required to pick their preferred primary care provider depending on the plan they choose to go with. You won’t need to have a primary care provider if you want to consult a specialist included in your network.
Point-of-Service Plans (POS)
POS plans are a combination of both health maintenance organizations and exclusive provider organization plans. The provider network is usually small compared to a preferred provider organization’s plans and in-network care services are usually low like those found in health maintenance organizations. Point-of-Service plans also require you to choose your ideal primary care provider within your chosen plan’s network of primary medical care providers and other medical practitioners such as optometrists. With a point-of-service plan, will need to get a referral. You, however, get to choose which specialist you want to visit regardless if they are out-of-network or in-network, just like in preferred provider organizations. You should note that consulting a doctor who is outside of the network will result in you having to pay a higher cost and also leave you responsible for filing any claims on your own.
Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs)
Preferred provider organizations usually offer an individual a large network of active healthcare providers at their disposal. This means that you will have access to a wide range of hospitals, doctors as well as other healthcare facilities or practitioners you can opt for. You are allowed to consult healthcare providers who are not included in your plan, but you will spend more if you choose to do so. It’s not a requirement to choose a primary care provider in preferred provider organizations’ plans. You also get to consult medical specialists without obtaining a referral.
To find out which health insurance suits you, you need to first get in touch with your medical care needs. If you have a relatively good health track record and don’t pay visits to doctors often, health insurance that has a high deductible is usually a suitable choice as they contain low-cost insurance premiums which could assist you in saving on costs. If you expect or are in need of more than just preventive medical care, you should look into plans that contain coinsurance or have low deductibles so that you can get predictable healthcare service costs.
Places to Go to See a Doctor Without Insurance
There are various places where you can go visit a medical practitioner without having insurance. Some of these places include a hospital emergency room, community health centers, or attend free clinics. There are also clinics that offer medical services to patients who do not have insurance. Here are some places you can find how much does it cost to go to the doctor without insurance after you visit a doctor as well as affordable medical care:
- Community health clinics: They often provide low-cost medical care services, sometimes free, to patients including vaccinations, medical screenings, and also preventive care.
- Urgent care medical centers: These centers offer various medical centers. Many don’t make it mandatory for patients to make appointments beforehand, although you may benefit from making early appointments in advance. You can also expect to pay less when you visit urgent care medical centers, inclusive of any testing or treatment you may require.
- Many healthcare facilities are now embracing the usage of telehealth services. This is because telehealth services appeal to a wide range of consumers, not to mention the affordable services and convenience to patients seeking healthcare services. It is, however, limited as some medical issues may require you to go for an in-person consultation with your doctor.
- If you require urgent medical care and are aware of which type of doctor you need to consult, you can schedule an appointment with your ideal medical specialist or primary care physician at their designated locations. Make sure to inquire about their payment policy before you schedule the appointment. If you are not covered with medical insurance, you may need to take care of the bill during your visit to your preferred medical practitioner.
- Visiting your nearest emergency room is an ideal way of accessing medical services if you do not have insurance. It comes with a demerit, however, as going to the hospital’s emergency room may be expensive. If you don’t have an emergency medical situation, you can try exploring the other options listed above as you will likely save on costs.
Self-Paying for Doctors’ Services
Even if you do have medical insurance, there are certain ways in which you can save money by choosing to pay upfront for your medical care treatments. While most insurance companies cater fully to preventive care, there are other treatments or medical tests that can be added to your deductible sum. If you have a high deductible sum on your medical treatments and aren’t able to cater to it, paying for it upfront may save you some cash.
Most healthcare providers and doctor offices charge high prices when billing your insurance company. For instance, they may charge you eighty dollars for medical treatment if you choose to use your medical insurance but if you pay in cash, the charge may drop to seventy dollars. This reduced price is known as a self-pay price. If you prefer paying in cash, your insurance claim will not be submitted to your insurance company but the upside to this is that you get save money on medical care costs.
Ensure you inquire about the prices of various treatments or tests before settling on a suitable payment method. Majority of hospitals are transparent with their self-pay prices to patients, even if they have insurance. If the hospital or doctor’s office does not want to provide information on their self-pay prices, insist on getting the information or find medical services at another medical institution. Should you choose to pay for your medical services using self-pay prices, you will not be confined to your insurance network providers. You will have a wide array of choices you can choose from, including providers who are willing to give you clear, fair prices.
Before opting to self-pay for your medical services, ensure you let the doctor’s office know this. You can also inquire if they are offering discounts on self-pay prices. Most medical practitioner offices offer discounted prices to patients who don’t have insurance or choose self-pay for medical services. It’s not common for them to advertise this, so make sure to ask them how much does it cost to go to the doctor without insurance after you visit a doctor.
How You Can Save Money If You Don’t Have Medical Insurance
These are some steps you can take when seeking healthcare without medical insurance:
- Check to see if you are eligible for Medicaid: Eligibility for Medicaid mainly focuses on a person’s place of residence, size of their house, and income. You can consult your Medicare insurance agent to get more information on this.
- Inquire for generic versions of drugs or their samples: This can have a huge impact on the price of medication needed for your treatment.
- Do a double-check on your medical bills: You’d be surprised at just how much of a difference this would make to your overall medical bill. Sometimes you can be overcharged due to an error, so make sure you are charged the right amount by going over it several times.
- Ask for a payment plan: There are some healthcare providers who can let you pay overtime to reduce the cost of your treatment.
- Look for ideal care that aligns with your budget: Charges for healthcare services can vary depending on your location. A good way to achieve this is by visiting a sliding scale or free clinic to get medical services.
- Mention to your healthcare provider that you don’t have insurance: Doing this provides you with the opportunity to find out if there are any discounts available you qualify for.
- Find a ministry: If you are religious, there may be a way to join a healthcare share ministry. Nonprofits like Jericho Share help split the payment between its members to make sure you are covered in an emergency.
Determining how much does it cost to go to the doctor without insurance after you visit a doctor is challenging. Many people are not aware of how much it costs to consult a doctor or receive treatment for their physical health, even if they do have insurance. Medical expenses can be high depending on the state you live in, so ensure to ask beforehand about a healthcare provider’s payment policy before commencing your treatment. If the provider offers lots of overhead charges, they are more likely to bill more for their treatment services. Understanding how health insurance as well as consulting an insurance attorney for more information and self-pay services work is essential in how you will get access to medical care. Granted, having health insurance may be of great aid but it is also wise to know what other options you may opt for should you not have one.