Even with recent health care reform, there are still a lot of people who do not have health insurance. If it's the cost of health insurance that is preventing you from buying a policy, you might assume that you will be better off paying for care out of pocket. However, you might be wondering if there are ways that you can save money on that, too. Luckily, these tips can help:
1. See a Primary Care Doctor First
You might assume that booking an appointment with a specialist from the beginning can be a good way to save money. However, in many situations, you might be better off seeing a primary care doctor first instead. For one thing, you will generally pay less for an appointment with a primary care doctor than you would with a specialist. Since these doctors have a broad range of knowledge, you might be surprised by what they can help you with without even referring you to a specialist. Plus, they can help you with various health care issues all at one time, allowing you to skip having multiple costly appointments in some cases.
2. Ask About a Sliding Scale
It's also smart to consider asking your doctor if a sliding pay scale is offered. Some offices will actually base how much you pay off of your income. If you don't make a lot of money, you might not be expected to pay very much for your appointment. This can be a good way to get top-notch medical care without having to pay more than you can afford.
3. Try an Urgent Care Center Instead of the Emergency Room
Of course, the emergency room serves a good purpose, and if you are dealing with an actual emergency, heading there is a no-brainer. However, in some situations, you might find that you are better off going to an urgent care center instead. For example, if you have a sprained ankle, this is generally something that can be handled at an urgent care center. You will often pay much less if you choose an urgent care center instead of an emergency room, and you may not have to wait nearly as long to be seen as you would in a busy emergency room. Plus, you can leave the emergency room open for more serious emergencies.
As you can see, there are a few different ways that you can save money on family medical care when you don't have insurance. If you try these tips, you might find that you can get the health care that you need for less than you thought.