How to save money on doctor visits is the desire of every patient that sits in a hospital or clinic waiting room. For the uninsured it really is a Kafkaesque situation and this is why many avoid an annual checkup or visiting in times of illness. The irony is that people with insurance are able to, in some instances, receive medical treatment discounts. The question remains however, how do we save money on doctor visits? Let’s review some ideas.
First of all, you should decide if the illness or sickness you’re suffering from is really worth a visit to a doctor. If, for example, you have a cold, influenza or some other common virus, perhaps taking copious amounts of vitamin C and staying in bed for a couple of days will suffice. Naturally, if you have a severe dose of flu or have had a serious accident, visiting a doctor is strongly advised. There are people in the world that visit a doctor for trivial reasons – doctors love hypochondriacs because they’re able to make large amounts of money, don’t be one of these people.
If you are one of the many without health insurance, when visiting a hospital or clinic ask the doctor or reception staff if it is possible to get some treatment discount. There is no need to mention why you want the discount – staff will, no doubt, know you are uninsured. If you are without insurance, arriving at a doctor’s clinic dressed in mink, decorated with diamonds and asking for a discount is not advised. It is interesting to note here that many insured patients, ask for a reductions in treatment costs. The chances of you receiving treatment cheaper, is quite possible. You should also not feel embarrassed asking for a discount; some doctors charge excessively, albeit unfairly for their services, therefore, there is no reason to feel guilty. Once your examination is finished, save a few bucks by paying the bill promptly before you leave the building. The reason for this is that you are able to avoid administrative costs, should the bill have to be mailed to your home address.
In the event, you need to have a series of lab tests or the doctor recommends visiting a specialist, again ask if it is possible to get a reduction in costs. Once again you don’t have to be embarrassed asking for a discount- tests and specialists are expensive. You might also consider questioning the doctor as to the importance of the tests – it is permissible to question a doctor, remember it’s your body. There are times when tests are recommended because the doctor wants to increase his or her profit margin; unfortunately the average patient is unaware of doctor profit margins. Indeed, when patients hear a doctor say, “We need to do a series of tests”, they begin to wonder if their next birthday will be their last. Fortunately, however, much of the time tests or specialist visits are not only for profit margins but unnecessary.
If you’re serious about saving money on doctor visits make sure you are able explain your symptoms clearly and concisely; don’t waste your time with generic explanations. Many people forget or are not aware, that doctors also charge for their time – the longer you’re in his or her office, the more money you’ll have to pay. Refrain from bringing up other inane topics that are unrelated to your current health problem. Doctors are not interested in knowing that you had measles when you were six, he or she doesn’t want to know that you broke your finger in elementary school – stick with the reason for your visit.
Life would be a lot easier if doctors displayed their fees, unfortunately that day is far from becoming the norm. There are, no doubt, many other ways to save a few bucks on doctor visits; the above are a few of the most common. Remember, however, that your health is important don’t jeopardize it for the sake of a few dollars.
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