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How Much Does a Doctor’s Visit Cost Without Insurance?

Key Points

  • According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the average cost of a visit to the doctor’s office in 2016 was $265, with expenses ranging from $159 to $419 depending on the specialty.
  • At an urgent care center you can expect to pay between $100-200 to see a provider, plus the cost of any treatments or testing you may need.
  • Always ask for pricing information before you agree to any testing or treatment. You are entitled to this information.

Going to the doctor for any reason can be expensive. Without insurance, you can expect to pay approximately anywhere from $50–$350 just for a routine medical exam, which doesn’t include additional expenses such as x-rays, blood tests, or other lab work.

How Much Does a Doctor’s Visit Cost Without Insurance?

Key Points

  • According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the average cost of a visit to the doctor’s office in 2016 was $265, with expenses ranging from $159 to $419 depending on the specialty.
  • At an urgent care center you can expect to pay between $100-200 to see a provider, plus the cost of any treatments or testing you may need.
  • Always ask for pricing information before you agree to any testing or treatment. You are entitled to this information.

Going to the doctor for any reason can be expensive. Without insurance, you can expect to pay approximately anywhere from $50–$350 just for a routine medical exam, which doesn’t include additional expenses such as x-rays, blood tests, or other lab work.

The cost of a doctor's visit

According to Solv’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Rob Rohatsch, the cost of a doctor’s visit can vary widely depending on factors such as:

  • The type of doctor you are seeing
  • The reason for your visit
  • Where you see the doctor, for example, if you go to an urgent care facility or a doctor’s office
  • Whether you are a new or established patient
  • Any necessary tests or treatments
  • Whether you need lab work

According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the average cost of a visit to the doctor’s office in 2016 was $265, with expenses ranging from $159 to $419 depending on the specialty.

Visits to specialists such as primary care providers, pediatricians, and psychiatrists were lower than the average cost, while the most expensive doctor’s visits were for orthopedists and cardiologists.

Data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality indicates that if you are visiting a doctor and don’t have insurance, you can expect to pay roughly the following amounts. The cost could vary depending on the factors listed above.

  • Psychiatry: $159
  • Pediatrics: $169
  • Primary care: $186
  • Dermatology: $268
  • OB/GYN: $280
  • Ophthalmology: $307
  • Cardiology: $335
  • All other: $365
  • Orthopedics: $419

Additionally, if you are a new patient, there may be an additional charge associated with your new patient exam.

Where to see a doctor without insurance

If you don’t have insurance, the cost of your doctor’s visit can also be affected by where you go to see the doctor. There are many places you can seek medical care, some of which are more affordable than others, notes the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality:

  • Community health clinics often provide free medical care or low-cost care, including preventive care, health screenings, and vaccinations.
  • Urgent care centers offer many health services. Many don’t require appointments, although your wait time may be less if you schedule an appointment in advance. You can expect to pay around $100 - $200 to see an urgent care provider, plus the cost of any treatments or testing you may need.
  • Many health care facilities now offer telehealth services, which are often more convenient and more affordable. For some conditions, however, you may need to be seen in person for proper diagnosis and treatment.
  • If your medical need is not urgent, and you know the type of doctor you need to see, you can schedule an appointment with a primary care physician or a specialist at their office. Be sure to ask about their payment policy in advance. If you don’t have insurance, you may be required to pay the entire bill at the time of service.
  • If you have a medical emergency, you can visit the nearest emergency room. Even if you don’t have insurance, you will be able to receive treatment. However, this is typically the most expensive option. If you have a non-emergency medical condition that can wait until you can be seen at one of the other options, you will likely save money.

Paying self-pay prices for doctor’s visits

Even if you have insurance, you may be able to save money by paying cash for certain medical services. While preventive care may be covered at 100% by your insurance company, other tests and treatments may be applied to your deductible. If you have a high deductible and don’t expect to meet it – especially if it’s late in the calendar year – paying cash for your medical care may be a cheaper option.

Most doctor’s offices and health care providers charge a higher price when they bill the insurance company. For example, they may charge the insurance company $70 for a treatment or service, but if the patient is paying cash, they may only charge $60. This is known as the self-pay price. If you pay cash, the claim won’t be submitted to your insurance company, but you could end up saving money.

Always ask for pricing information before you agree to any testing or treatment. You are entitled to this information. As of 2021, hospitals are required to disclose self-pay prices, even when the patient has insurance. If the doctor’s office won’t provide you with this information, be persistent, or seek care somewhere else. If you plan on paying self-care prices, you aren’t limited to the providers in your insurance network. You’ll have a wider range of options to choose from, and you can choose a provider who is willing to provide fair, clear prices.

Let your doctor’s office know that you are paying out of pocket, and ask if they offer a discount for self-pay patients. Many doctor’s offices will offer special rates for patients who are paying cash or who do not have insurance; however, they may not advertise these rates, so it’s always a good idea to ask.

Know what you’ll pay ahead of time with Solv ClearPriceTM

According to Healthcare Finance News, more than half of Americans avoid going to the doctor when they’re sick due to high medical costs or unclear costs. Solv is committed to eliminating surprise medical bills with Solv ClearPrice™. We partner with thousands of providers across the country who have agreed to display self-pay prices for their services. When you book an appointment on Solv, you will be able to see the self-pay price for many common services.

To schedule an appointment, search our directory for a provider in your area. Begin typing the service you are looking for, and choose from the list of options that appear. If you aren’t sure which type of doctor you need to see, you may want to try an urgent care clinic or a walk-in clinic. In many cases, you can schedule an appointment quickly and conveniently online, and many of our providers have same-day or next-day appointments available.

Sources

Solv has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references.

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