Skin is your first protection against the damage by the environment and this makes it the most sensitive part of your body that needs care the most.
Many people make a dermatologist visit far less often compared to any general physician. Why? They may have no idea how much does a dermatology visit cost if they are not insured and if they are, they still wonder if medical insurance covers dermatology.
The cost for any doctor visit will vary on the basis of medical insurance and the type of medical insurance and skin issue you have. Following are some basic information on what cost you should expect from a dermatology appointment. The details include the cost for people who are covered under medical dermatology insurance and the for those who are uninsured, what elements make one dermatology visit more or less costly, and what a dermatology prescription costs to expect for a single visit if you are paying out-of-pocket.
How much does a Dermatology Visit Cost with Insurance?
The best way to find the cost of your dermatology visit is to check the insurance documentation or talk to your insurance agent to find out. Your insurance documents often have the details of the potential guidelines for the coverage of procedures and appointments. They also have information for dermatology visits and prescriptions.
The cost of a dermatology visit can also vary if the dermatologist is in your insurance network. To cut the mustard, you should check on your insurance provider to narrow down the options for you and provide an in-network dermatologist list in your area which would work with your insurance plan.
How much does a Dermatology Visit Cost without an Insurance Plan?
If you are not insured or covered by an insurance plan, you need to find out the approximate out-of-pocket per-visit fee for your selected provider
Generally, a dermatology office visit cost may vary and lies between $100 to $200. Also, it depends on the condition of your skin and disease and the office you choose to visit. To know the exact cost per dermatology visit, you can check your selected provider’s website, call their customer service center, or just stop by to find the per-visit cost for someone who is uninsured.
If you are dealing with severe skin disorders like skin cancer or eczema, you can also ask if the provider offers payment plans for patients bearing out-of-pocket costs.
You also need to be aware that the cost of an office visit will not include any cost of the procedure, tests, treatment performed or any prescription that is needed to continue the treatment.
Factors that determine the Cost of a Dermatology Visit
If you are paying out-of-pocket for visiting a dermatologist, you can expect to approximate the cost for an office visit either lower or higher by considering the following factors;
The cost of dermatology visits greatly reflects the cost of living in the particular area where the office is located. Besides, the cost of a dermatologist’s office will be higher in cities and cosmopolitan locations as compared to the ones in small towns.
Areas having a high number of dermatology offices may have a lower cost of visits to entice the patients having a number of choices to opt for. Due to the competition in that particular area, providers will likely offer other deals like payment options. On the other hand, locations with one dermatology office will likely not reduce their per-visit costs and have fewer chances to offer incentives or any other deal.
A general dermatology physician may not charge a hefty price for the disease that commonly appears as compared to the one office that treats difficult skin diseases, that are less common or treats specific diseases and skin conditions.
Testing and Treatment
On your first office visit, your doctor will likely ask you about the issue, and symptoms, and then decide to prescribe some testing to diagnose and determine the actual cause of the skin disorder and to decide on a treatment plan. In this case, you will have to pay the additional costs for testing on top of the doctor’s visit.
Once the testing is performed and the doctor decides to perform any in-office treatment, then it will also add up to the overall cost of treatment. Your doctor will discuss the cost of the procedure with you prior to starting the procedure. This means that it will be an informed decision.
It is likely impossible that your skincare issue will resolve in one sitting or visit. If you have gone under a knife or any serious procedure, your dermatology condition would require multiple visits for periodic checkups, refreshing treatments, and seeing how the medicines and given treatment are working. This will add up the cost of follow-up as an additional cost each time you make a follow-up visit.
For people who are insured, the final cost of payment depends on the insurance plan. Especially, when you are insured and your dermatology visits are not covered by your insurance provider. Insurance plans can vary, viewing the pricing list of in-network dermatology providers and the services covered can help you get the best idea of cost.
Not only the insurance plans, but all the mentioned factors affect the cost of dermatology even after having an insurance plan. If you are covered, the tip to save on cost is to visit in-network dermatologists.
Cost of Dermatology Medications with and without Insurance
If you require medications for your usual skincare needs like retinoids, steroids, antibiotics, or common dermatology medication, this will also cost you in addition to your visitation cost.
On the other hand, if you have medical insurance, your insurance provider may require a copay to cover your prescription medication. Some insurance provides dermatology prescription coverage and some only for dermatology-specific healthcare needs. Once you’ll get to know the treatment and the medication that you would need for the treatment, your insurance provider or your pharmacist will be able to tell you if they are covered or not.
Practically, if you are not covered by an insurance plan, the cost of dermatology will be much more than you expect and the factors mentioned above will likely create much more pressure on your pocket. Before you opt to get your medications, ask the pharmacist about the prices and have an estimate as different pharmacies will have different prices for the patients paying cash.
Tips to Choose Local Dermatology in your Budget
Receiving affordable medical facilities should be accessible to everyone regardless of insurance plans. Here are some recommendations to follow when all you need is to choose a dermatologist in your budget;
- Research – Do visit all dermatologists in your area and ask for their out-of-pocket charges and payment solutions. Some dermatology offices provide discounts to first-time payers and some provide payment plans. So, it’s better to visit them upfront and gather information to opt for a provider that will fall on your budget.
- Consider visiting community health or low-cost providers – community healthcare providers are meant to serve patients at low cost, especially patients with no insurance plans, The American Academy of Dermatology website has a list of these community healthcare providers on their website.
Negotiate over payment plan – Oftentimes, providers offer installments, sliding scale payments, and credit programs for out-patients. Check with your clinician’s account representative and discuss how they can help you spread the payments evenly.