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This post is part of the 31 Days to Radically Reduce Your Expenses series.
I know, I really shouldn’t say that, but the more I have to go to the doctor’s office, the more co-pays I have to dish out….and ours are not the cheapest copays you’ve ever seen. Plus, our doctor is 40 minutes away, and while it would be super convenient to have one closer to us, we really love the one we have and wouldn’t trade him for the world.
Weird fact: He was also our family physician in NY. Seriously, how does that happen?
But while doctor’s visits can often seem like a never-ending expense, they also can’t be eliminated from the monthly budget just yet. Here are a 6 ways you can keep costs as low as possible, and it doesn’t matter if you have health insurance or not!
How to Save Money at the Doctor’s Office:
1. Make Sure They Accept Your Insurance (and Know What it Covers!) – Although most medical facilities will ask you what insurance you have before they make an appointment, it’s your job to be absolutely sure the physician is within your network and what procedures you are allowed to have. Otherwise, you could be slapped with a big denial from your insurance company, and left owing a hefty bill. Do your due diligence and always double-check before you go!
2. Negotiate and Pay Cash – If you don’t have health insurance, cash is definitely a viable option to pay for your visit. However, don’t let the doctor determine the price just yet. Take the initiative and ask what insurance companies usually pay for that diagnosis, as all doctors charge far more for a visit than they actually get paid. Reference HealthcareBlueBook for the average costs of visits and procedures in your area to get started. This secret alone could save you hundreds of dollars in just one visit!
3. Take Advantage of Free Services – If you don’t have health insurance, and come up short on cash, there are free health clinics around the country that offer services to patients regardless of their ability to pay. For free breast exams and cervical screenings, find a local program through the CDC or Komen. You can usually take advantage of these check-ups at least once a year.
4. Phone it In – If you have an excessive allergy problem, weird rash, or body pain, call your doctor before making the trek to see if they can help you over the phone. Of course, don’t do this if it’s a serious medical emergency! But if you’re debating whether or not it’s worth it to make an appointment, definitely give your office a quick call first. We did this during a bout of bad allergies, and the doctor graciously called in a medication for me without the need to go in for an appointment. I was stoked we didn’t have to shell out a $60 copay!
5. Inspect Your Bill – It’s the billing department’s responsibility to code your visit properly before submitting your claim to the insurance company. If your insurance accepts the claim, great! But if they deny it, you end up being responsible for the bill…..at least that’s what the doctor’s office might try to tell you. Call the office to request a second look, and make sure to ask if it could be a possible coding issue. It may just be a quick fix and a resubmission to get the bill paid. Don’t give up without a fight!
6. Stay Healthy – One of the best ways to save on doctor’s visits is to take care of yourself. Preventative care goes such a long way in maintaining a healthy body! Eat your fruits and veggies and try to exercise at least 30 minutes a day. And if you need help planning some healthier meals, use these meal planning resources to up your dinner game. Any effort you make towards a more healthy lifestyle will keep you out of the doctor’s office and put more cash in your pocket!
How well are you taking care of yourself? Take a brisk walk outside to get your heart-rate pumping, and swap out a piece of fruit for a pre-packaged snack. Take a picture of your healthy lifestyle choice and share it with me on Instagram or Facebook using the hashtag #ReduceYourExpenses!
Disclosure: Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. Read my full disclosure policy here.