30 Ways to Cut the Cost of Living: Doctors, Dentists, Orthodontists, etc.

#27: Shop around and price compare before deciding on a doctor, specialist, dentist, or orthodontist.

Even if you have insurance, there are still co-pays, deductibles, and medical expenses that are not covered by your insurance.  Make sure you are seeing the best doctor for the best possible price!

As with many of the expense categories we have discussed in this series, a little time spent in research could pay major dividends.  Here is a brief story from our experience that demonstrates this:

A few years ago my husband decided to get braces.  We got a pretty good deal and the job was done well.  He was given one set of plastic retainers.  Unfortunately, one of the retainers cracked once we had moved and were living far from the orthodontist.  We were unable to take advantage of the free replacement we would have enjoyed had we still lived near the orthodontist. My husband went to visit an orthodontist that had been recommended to us and found that the replacement cost ranged from $250-$500!  I couldn’t believe it!  I asked my husband to give me a chance to call around and price the replacement with a few other orthodontists in our area.  After a few calls, I learned that he could get the retainer replaced for a little over $100 at another office right down the street from us.  My husband made an appointment, got in that day, and picked up his replacement that evening for only $90!  (The doctor decided to give him a discount since he worked in a church.)

In our five years of marriage, we have had two major moves and found ourselevs in the position of needing to find new doctors, dentists, opthamologists, a hospital for the birth of our second child, etc.  I have found the reviews on Yelp to be extremely helping in locating good physicians.  Of course word of mouth is also helpful, but this is another valuable resource to help in the process of locating a doctor.  Don’t be afraid to call and ask for prices, find out if there are discounts available, etc.

When I found out I was expecting our second child, I actually went so far as to call the different hospitals in our area to find out their estimated costs since we had 80/20 coverage and I knew we would potentially be facing some very large medical bills.  Again, a bit of research and time spent comparing prices and services paid off well in the end!

Groupon and other daily deal sites are starting to change the game a bit when it comes to medical services like dentistry and opthamology.  I often see deals for up to 80-90% off these services.  If you see one you’re interested in, just hop on Yelp and read the reviews!

Another note: If we need medical attention of some type that is not covered by our insurance, I always, always ask for a discount!.  I am usually not disappointed.

What ways have you found to cut your medical expenses?  Leave a comment below!

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Be sure to check out my previous posts on eating out, family fun, haircutsgift-giving, babysitting, groceries, cosmeticselectricity, natural gas, water, auto repairpurchasing a vehicle, decorating, medical bills, cable/movies, travel, dinners for $5 or less, insurance, and eating gluten-free.

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