How Much Does a Doctor Visit Cost Without Insurance?

Cost of doctor's visit

If you don’t have health insurance and need to see a healthcare provider, there are options available to you. In this article, we will explore the cost of a doctor’s visit without insurance, the differences between primary care and urgent care, factors that affect the price, and provide tips on how to save money.

How Much Does a Doctor Visit Cost Without Insurance?

The average cost of a doctor’s visit without insurance in the US was $265 in 2016. However, the actual cost may vary depending on the type of medical provider and the type of appointment. For example, a visit to a primary care provider usually costs around $186, while a visit to a specialist may cost around $335.

Some doctor’s offices and urgent care facilities may have their visit fees and treatment costs listed on their website, but most do not. To obtain pricing information, you can call the doctor’s office or urgent care directly.

As of January 2022, healthcare providers are required to provide a “good faith estimate” if you ask for one, which is a list of possible charges you may receive after your appointment. Comparing this estimate with the bill you receive later can help you identify any discrepancies and potentially start a patient-provider dispute if necessary.

Primary Care vs. Urgent Care

Establishing a relationship with a primary care provider is beneficial for routine and preventative services. It allows them to get to know you and track your health. When you’re sick, your primary provider can usually see you quickly if you’re already an established patient. They can also refer you to a specialist if needed.

Urgent care facilities provide quick treatment when your primary provider is unavailable. They are suitable for minor injuries or illnesses that require immediate attention, such as strains, cuts, mild burns, or urinary tract infections. In life-threatening situations, it’s essential to go to the nearest emergency room or call 911.

Factors That Affect the Price of a Doctor’s Visit

Several factors influence the cost of a doctor’s visit, including the type of appointment, the healthcare provider, services provided, and the location.

Type of Appointment

Whether you are a new patient or a returning patient can affect the cost of your visit. New patient visits often involve more time and a thorough examination, resulting in additional fees.

Type of Healthcare Provider

The type of provider you see also impacts the price. Typically, primary care providers charge less than specialists. Some primary care providers may have physician assistants (PAs) or nurse practitioners (NPs) who can see patients at a lower cost than a physician.

Services Provided

The services required during your visit can influence the overall cost. For minor issues that require a quick assessment, the visit may be less expensive. However, if additional procedures or examinations are necessary, the cost will likely be higher. Requesting a good faith estimate before your appointment can help you anticipate the cost.


The location of your appointment plays a role in determining the price. Seeing a medical provider in an emergency department versus a walk-in clinic will have different costs. Additionally, providers in different regions or cities may vary in price. Researching local medical offices before making an appointment can help you find affordable options. In-person visits are generally more expensive than telehealth appointments.

Tips to Save Money on Doctor’s Visits

Here are some tips to help you save money on medical appointments:

Ask for a Self-Pay Discount

When scheduling your appointment, inform the receptionist that you will be a self-pay patient. Inquire about any special pricing for cash-paying patients, as this may be more affordable than rates for insured individuals.

Price Shop for Providers

Call different medical offices in your area and ask about their rates before deciding where to make an appointment. Prices can vary significantly between offices, even in neighboring towns. Inquire about the costs of new patient appointments, follow-up visits, annual check-ups, and routine labs.

Find an Alternative Care Option

Telehealth has become increasingly accessible in recent years. Many private telehealth companies offer affordable services for uninsured individuals, as well as insured individuals seeking convenient care. K Health provides one-time appointments with board-certified clinicians for $73 or unlimited visits for $49 per month. They can help with medical advice, prescriptions, and even offer an Rx discount card for pharmacy savings. It’s a cost-effective and convenient option, especially for those without insurance.

When to See a Healthcare Provider Without Insurance

It’s crucial not to avoid seeking medical care because you lack insurance coverage. Neglecting proper treatment can lead to more significant and costlier health problems. There are affordable options available, and with a little research, you can find the best deals. If you believe your life is in danger, seek immediate care from an emergency room or call 911.

How to See a Doctor Without Insurance

Whether you have insurance or not, you can see a doctor from the comfort of your home with K Health. They offer a range of services, including symptom checking, condition exploration, and text-based consultations with healthcare providers within minutes. Get started now to receive affordable and convenient medical care.


  • Can I negotiate the cost of a doctor’s visit without insurance?
    Negotiating the cost of a doctor’s visit without insurance is possible, especially if you’re a self-pay patient. It’s worth asking the doctor’s office or healthcare provider if they offer any discounts, payment plans, or flexible pricing options.

  • Are there free or low-cost healthcare options for the uninsured?
    Yes, there are free or low-cost healthcare options for the uninsured. Community health clinics often provide affordable care, and some offer services for free or on a sliding scale based on income. Researching and locating these clinics in your area can help you access the care you need at a reduced cost.

  • How can I save on prescription medications without insurance?
    Saving on prescription medications without insurance can be challenging but not impossible. Several strategies can help, such as using prescription discount cards, comparing prices at different pharmacies, exploring generic medication options, and discussing alternative medications or lower-cost options with your healthcare provider.


While the cost of a doctor’s visit without insurance can vary depending on various factors, there are affordable options available. Establishing a relationship with a primary care provider, utilizing urgent care when necessary, and exploring alternative care options like telehealth can help you access the medical care you need without breaking the bank. By being proactive and informed, you can navigate the healthcare system and prioritize your well-being even without insurance coverage.