Written by Nick Versaw
Updated December 7, 2021
Going to the doctor is never fun. But it can be even more stressful when you're worried about your health and how you'll pay for the visit at the same time.
Uninsured,medical careit can get expensive quickly. Where you live, which doctor you see, and the tests you need will be reflected on your doctor's bill. In this article, we'll break down those costs and give you some money-saving tips.
What is included in the cost of a doctor visit?
Geography is one of the biggest factors in the price of a doctor's appointment. Most medical facilities pass some of their overhead to their patients. If you live in a place with a higher cost of living, like California or New York, you'll likely pay more for doctor visits. The office has to pay extra for utilities and rent, and these costs appear on your bill. For example, the Mayo Clinic patient estimatestool is listing $846 for a 60-minute office visit in Jacksonville, Florida, but $605 for the same visit in Wisconsin.
In addition to the cost of living, supplies and equipment will also end up on your account. Let's say you need a strep test, blood draw, or Pap smear. The supplies needed for the test plus the cost of laboratory fees will be included in the price.
Bills for the same tests and procedures can also vary depending on the type of facility you go to. Smaller practices and public health centers are often much less expensive than university systems or private hospitals. This is partly because their buildings are smaller and their overheads are lower.
Price of out-of-pocket medical consultations
The cost of a doctor's office visit also depends on the type of doctor and the procedure that needs to be performed. For example, an in-office wellness checkup will be less expensive than a specialized procedure. If you have an emergency, an urgent care center will be much more accessible than the emergency room.
Primary Care Physician - Physical Exam
Physical exams usually include blood pressure readings, cholesterol measurements, and immunizations. Often included are prostate exams for men and Pap smears and breast exams for women. Pediatric physical exams focus on growth indicators for your child's age. Doctors check height, weight, sleep patterns, diet, and immunizations required by public schools.
The range for an annual physical exam can range from $100 to $250 or moreUninsured. A CVS Minutecare clinic may charge as little as $59 for a sports physical, but not all organizations will accept it as proof of physical health.
Primary Care Physician - Procedures
In addition to the basic cost of physical exams, you may incur additional charges for any specific tests or procedures you need. According to the Cardiometabolic Health blog, the most common procedures in primary care medicineinclude blood tests, EKGs, and immunizations/shots.
bloody workit is one of the higher cost wildcards. Certain tests can run you from $10 to $10,000. Big national labs like Labcorp offer pricing on their website, so you know what to expect. For example, Lab Corp. General Health Blood Test,which includes a metabolic panel, complete blood count (CBC), and urinalysis, costs $78.
electrocardiogramasthe electrocardiogramscheck your heart health and can find cardiproblems ac. This quick procedure involves monitoring your heartbeat through electrodes placed on your skin. While it's a painless and accurate way to screen for heart problems, costs can add up without insurance. expect to pay as little as $410 or as much as $1700for this procedure, depending on local prices.
vaccinesthey are often needed before sending your children to school. EITHER The CDC publishes a vaccine price list annually.to give you an idea of what to expect. For example, they list $19 to $132 for DTaP, $21 for Hepatitis A, and $13 to $65 for Hepatitis B. However, the COVID-19 vaccine is free regardless of vault status.
urgent care visit
If you have an emergency but are stable, urgent care is much less expensive than the ER. According to Scripps, most urgent care centers and walk-in clinics can at least treat dehydration, simple cuts or fractures, fever, flu, strep, and urinary tract infections. Please note that if you have chest pain, serious injury, seizures, stroke, or pregnancy complications, you should go directly tothe emergency room.
For a basic exam at an urgent care center, expect to paybetween $100-$150. That price will go up depending on what else you need. For example, advanced urgent carein Denver he quotes $80 for an X-ray, $50 for an EKG, $135 for stitches, and $5 for a urinalysis. By comparison, expect to pay US$ 1.000 a US$ 1.300for the same procedures in the emergency room.
How to reduce your direct medical costs
Health care expenses can seem overwhelming without insurance. Fortunately, there are many resources available to help you cover the costs.
Free and low-cost wellness and vaccination clinics
For standard vaccines and tests, look for local free or low-cost clinics. Check the Research tool of the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinicsto find a location near you. Your city's public health department should also offer free or low-cost immunizations and basic medical services.
Certain large vaccine manufacturers also offer vaccine schedules. For example, Merck Patient Care Programoffers 37 free vaccines and medications to eligible patients. The program includes albuterol inhalers and vaccines for Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, MMR and HPV.
Most health systems offer lower rates for cash-paying patients. Some even have free programs for low-income families. For example, UPC heritagein North Carolina has an annual membership for low-cost preventive care. In northern California, the Sutter Medical Health Systemprovides full coverage for patients earning 400% or less of Federal Poverty Income Guideline.
Beginning January 1, 2021, all hospitals in the United States must follow theHospital Price Transparency Rule. This means that they must clearly list the prices of the procedures on their website. You may also call Medical Billing prior to your appointment to discuss cash payment options.
Federal Medical Payment Support
If all else fails, there are federal programs to help you cover the cost of medical bills.
Organizations like The United Waymi united by aliceoffer subsidies for ALICE patients (limited assets, restricted income, employees). These are people living above the poverty level, making them ineligible for other government programs, but below the basic cost of living threshold.
Health insuranceit is available to children, pregnant women, and adults below a certain income threshold. If your income is too high to qualify for Medicaid, but you cannot afford private insurance for your children, you may qualify for Medicaid. Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP)to cover their children's health care.
Use Compare.com for the best prices on medical appointments
Paying the bills for a doctor's appointment can seem overwhelming, butComparar.comis here to help With our price comparison tool, you can look up all prices for clinics and doctor's offices in your area. Compare ensures that you will be prepared for the cost of your checkup long before you schedule your appointment.
Nick Versaw heads the editorial department at Compare.com, where he and his team specialize in creating helpful, easy-to-understand content on auto insurance and related topics. As an award-winning writer, Nick has seen his work published in numerous renowned publications including the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and US News & World Report. He graduated with honors in Latin from Virginia Commonwealth University, where he earned his bachelor's degree in digital journalism.
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How much does a doctor visit cost without insurance USA? ›
The cost of a doctor's visit depends on the type of insurance you have. If you do not have insurance, the cost of a doctor's visit is typically between $300 and $600, but prices can vary depending on several factors such as lab tests, where you seek care, and procedures done at the visit.How do I see a doctor without money? ›
- Free Clinics. Many cities offer free, discount, and federally-funded clinics. ...
- Ask for Hospital Discounts. If you do spend time in a hospital, there are a few ways to lower the amount of money you have to pay. ...
- Medicaid. ...
- Prescription Assistance.
How Much Does a Primary Care New Patient Office Visit Cost? On MDsave, the cost of a Primary Care New Patient Office Visit in Florida ranges from $155 to $240. Those on high deductible health plans or without insurance can shop, compare prices and save.What is the best online doctor no insurance? ›
- GoodRx Care: $30 and under per visit without insurance.
- MDLive: $40 to $50 per visit without insurance.
- Teladoc: $0 to $75 per visit without insurance.
- Amwell: $79 per visit without insurance.
- Doctor on Demand: $75 per visit without insurance.
Without insurance, you can typically expect to pay anywhere between $50–$200 for a physical exam. The average cost for an annual physical in the U.S. without insurance is $199, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.Can I see a doctor in USA without insurance? ›
Even if you don't have health insurance, you can still see a doctor and receive medical treatment—preventive care, acute care, urgent care, or emergency care. The difficult part is to find services that are affordable.How much is a doctor visit? ›
To visit a GP you can expect to pay from around 45 euro up to 65 euro (in some urban areas). Contact your GP before your first visit to find out about charges. GPs may provide certain services to private patients free of charge.Should I go to the doctor if I can't afford it? ›
Community Health Centers or Free Clinics
If you can't afford a doctor's visit, you may want to find community health centers in your area. Community health centers deliver comprehensive, culturally competent, high-quality primary health care services.
Doctors and hospitals may refer to their POS collections as time-of-service, upfront, or front-end collections. In general, a provider who participates in POS collections will ask for payment of a proposed service sometime before the service is rendered, up to the time the patient is discharged or leaves the office.How much does the ER cost in Florida? ›
|State||Avg. ER Cost|
Can you negotiate prices with doctors? ›
Yes, it can be done. "The billing departments of health care facilities and medical offices are used to negotiating," said Michelle Rice, chief external affairs officer at the National Hemophilia Foundation. "So don't hesitate to ask for a reduction if a medical bill is too high for you or your family."Is there free medical in Florida? ›
Medicaid provides free or low-cost health coverage to eligible needy persons.Are online doctors cheaper? ›
Saves you money. In general, telehealth tends to be less expensive than an in-person office visit. Costs vary between telehealth services and can depend on what type of insurance you have. One 2017 study reported that people spent an average of $79 on a telehealth visit for an acute respiratory infection.Are online doctors expensive? ›
A telehealth consultation with a doctor is typically less expensive than in-person visits or calls. The average cost of a telehealth visit for acute respiratory infection (such as a sinus infection, laryngitis, or bronchitis) was $79 compared to $146 for an in-person visit.Are online doctors legit? ›
An online doctor offers healthcare services through the internet, while an in-person doctor works offline and will require in-person visits to access their services. Doctors who operate online are required to go through the same education and training programs as any other doctor.What is a full body exam called? ›
A comprehensive physical exam is sometimes referred to as an executive physical. This exam include laboratory tests, pulmonary function testing, chest x-rays, audiograms, EKGs, full-body CAT scans, heart stress tests, mammograms or prostate exams, and a urinalysis.What is full body check-up called? ›
A full body check-up, also known as a physical exam, is a preventive health measure that involves a complete medical evaluation of a person's body. It helps identify any potential health problems and allows for early treatment.What all should be included in full body checkup? ›
- Blood and urine tests.
- Lipid Profile Test.
- cardiac system: Chest X-Ray, ECG & 2D Echo Cardiography.
- Vitamin Check.
- Abdominal Check: Ultrasonography of abdomen & pelvis.
- Thyroid Function Tests: TSH, T3, T4.
- Kidney Function: Blood Urea, Uric Acid, Serum Creatinine.
The cash only model is known as direct care or direct primary care. Patients pay an annual or monthly fee for access to their doctor. This covers most primary care procedures — things like physicals, tests for strep throat, EKGs, and stitches.How do Americans pay for healthcare? ›
As of 2017, health insurance was most commonly acquired through a group plan tied to an employer, covering 150 million people. Other major sources include Medicaid, covering 70 million, Medicare, 50 million, and health insurance marketplaces created by the ACA covering around 17 million.
How do you get medical help for someone who doesn't want it? ›
- Be transparent and direct. ...
- Convince them that it's their idea. ...
- Make it a "double-checkup" ...
- Make the rest of the day as enjoyable as possible. ...
- Get someone who is an authority figure to help.
The United States healthcare system is complex and most costs are market driven. High, unregulated prescription drug costs and healthcare providers' salaries rank higher than in other western nations, and hospital care accounts for 31% of the nation's healthcare costs.Can you see a doctor without being registered? ›
If you are not registered with a GP you will be unable to see one unless you have a serious emergency. In most other cases, calling 111 is a better option. If you are not registered with a GP but need treatment at a GP surgery you will need to complete a temporary registration form.Do GPs get paid per appointment? ›
GPs are independent contractors working for the NHS, and do not receive a salary. Each practice has individual funding, calculated through a complex process of national guidelines and local negotiations. The surgery receives funding for the day-to-day running of the practice, and pays the doctors and staff from this.How many people can't afford to go to the doctor? ›
40% of Americans Can't Afford to See Their Doctors.How many people don t go to the doctor if they can t afford it? ›
In 2021, nearly half (46.7%) of nonelderly uninsured adults reported not seeing a doctor or health care professional in the past 12 months compared to 18.2% with private insurance and 13.1% with public coverage.What to do when you don't have a doctor? ›
- Phone it in. You already use your phone to FaceTime with friends, so why not a healthcare provider too? ...
- Stop by your pharmacy. ...
- Check out your local urgent care center. ...
- Find a new primary care physician.
Collecting payment at the end of the visit, after the patient has seen the physician. This is the preferred method for most patients, although it may or may not be the best method for your ideal patient (and that should be your focus).Can a doctor refuse to treat a patient who owes money? ›
Can a Doctor Refuse to Treat Me If I Cannot Afford to Pay? Yes. The most common reason for refusing to treat a patient is the patient's potential inability to pay for the required medical services. Still, doctors cannot refuse to treat patients if that refusal will cause harm.Why should doctors be paid? ›
In simpler words, medical is a difficult field that requires commitment, dedication, hard work, ability to multitask, intelligence, spontaneous decision making skills and most importantly patience and resilience. Therefore, it deserves to be compensated adequately.
How much is medical costs in us? ›
The United States has one of the highest costs of healthcare in the world. In 2021, U.S. healthcare spending reached $4.3 trillion, which averages to about $12,900 per person. By comparison, the average cost of healthcare per person in other wealthy countries is only about half as much.How much does health care cost in USA? ›
The average annual cost of health insurance in the USA is US$7,739 for an individual and US$22,221 for a family as of 2021, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation – a bill employers typically fund roughly three quarters of.How much do US doctors pay for insurance? ›
On average, medical malpractice insurance costs $7,500 per year. Surgeons tend to pay between $30k and $50k in annual premiums. Other medical professionals typically pay between $4k and $12k per year, depending on their specialty and area of expertise.What happens if a tourist gets sick in USA? ›
Contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for a list of local healthcare providers and medical facilities. If your illness is serious, consular officers can help you find medical assistance, and, if you desire, inform your family and/or friends.What happens in America if you can't afford healthcare? ›
If you don't have health insurance, you're at much greater risk of accumulating medical bills that you may not be able to pay. In a worst-case scenario, you could be sued and have your wages garnished. You might even be forced into bankruptcy.Is health Care Free in the US? ›
There is no universal healthcare.
The U.S. government does not provide health benefits to citizens or visitors. Any time you get medical care, someone has to pay for it.
Medicaid is the cheapest form of health insurance, but if you don't qualify, many other options are available. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) established tax subsidies to fund plans through the Health Insurance Marketplace.Where is the cheapest healthcare in the US? ›
The five priciest states for premiums in 2021 are:
- Wyoming: $782.
- Alaska: $674.
- West Virginia: $671.
- Nebraska: $579.
- South Dakota: $575.
The average cost of health insurance in the U.S. is $560 per month.
Why do American doctors charge so much? ›
The United States healthcare system is complex and most costs are market driven. High, unregulated prescription drug costs and healthcare providers' salaries rank higher than in other western nations, and hospital care accounts for 31% of the nation's healthcare costs.How much do doctors make? ›
The average Doctor salary in UAE is AED 16,500 per month. Highest salary of Doctor in UAE is AED 29,000 and lowest salary is AED 3,500. This is based on 11 Doctors located in the UAE who have recently registered with GulfTalent. Latest vacancies can be found on Doctor jobs in UAE.Who pays for health insurance in us? ›
Health care in the United States can be very expensive.
The way it typically works is that the consumer (you) pays an up front premium to a health insurance company and that payment allows you to share "risk" with lots of other people (enrollees) who are making similar payments.
Using five performance indicators to measure health systems in 191 member states, it finds that France provides the best overall health care followed among major countries by Italy, Spain, Oman, Austria and Japan.Will US hospitals treat you without insurance? ›
No matter what your insurance status, hospitals and emergencies room must provide adequate care if your situation qualifies as an emergency.Which country has free healthcare for foreigners? ›
Only one country offers healthcare that is free for everyone: Brazil. The constitution defines healthcare as a universal right. Anyone in the country, even short-term visitors, can get health care for free.