Medical costs pile up quickly, especially for those that are uninsured. Health insurance does not fit into every family’s budget, so out-of-pocket costs can be substantial. It is important to make a few phone calls to inquire about financial assistance programs or discounts for cash-paying patients as many physicians in varying areas of medicine offer discounts for those without insurance.
An uninsured person can expect to pay over $100 per general office visit. This is just a base price for the visit. Any additional treatment during the appointment would result in additional costs. If you have a complex medical issue, an office visit can easily end up costing over $200. When a medical issue requires multiple visits, the costs pile up rather quickly.
Dental procedures, other than extractions, are rather costly. Having dental insurance, which is relatively affordable, does help reduce some of the cost of procedures. You will still have a balance as few dental insurance companies offer full-coverage plans, but you are likely able to work out a payment plan with the dental office. Items like root canals, dentures, implants and braces can cost thousands of dollars, even with insurance.
The cost of some medication can be hundreds or thousands of dollars. Some pharmacies, like the ones located inside Walmart retail locations, do offer discount prescriptions. The list is limited to common medications for common medical issues. It is important to have a copy of these discount programs and what medications are listed so that your doctor may have other options to treat you that is within your budget.
If you have to have surgery and are uninsured, it can literally bankrupt you. There are programs available for financial assistance and you may even qualify for state aid, so it is important to work with the facility’s billing and human resources departments to reduce your bill to an affordable amount with affordable payments. For more serious surgical procedures, you could be paying it off for years.
While x-rays are not overly expensive, other forms of imaging are. Imaging tests such as CAT Scans, MRIs, and digital 3D x-rays are expensive. Some physicians are able to perform some imaging in-house, which makes the cost of those procedures much less. If you have to have imaging for a medical issue or injury, speak with the billing department about the total out-of-pocket (OOP) cost and ask about payment plans or financial assistance.
Having to pay OOP for medical needs is stressful and many members of society fail to look into partial medical/dental insurance plans or financial assistance. You can also shop around for physicians with cash pay discounts that do fit in your budget. Dental and vision insurance are not expensive, so at least having those will help save some money and may provide opportunities for free cleanings and vision screenings. Stay on top of your health problems, as there are methods for receiving treatment if you spend a little time looking for options and using local resources.