Visiting a pediatric clinic or pediatric urgent care can quickly become a major expense. While having health insurance can help lessen the costs, sometimes out-of-pocket expenses are just as bad as paying healthcare expenses outright.
There are a few steps you can take to try and minimize the amount of money you’ll pay toward your child’s healthcare. Let’s explore a few of them below.
Take advantage of available assistance programs: You may qualify for state or federal assistance programs if you’re part of a low-income household. While Medicaid is one of the largest federal health insurance plans, the program requirements vary by state, and not all families qualify.
Even if you don’t qualify based on your income, your children may still qualify for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). CHIP Medicaid allows for higher income than the standard Medicaid, and you could receive health insurance for your children at little to no cost.
Understand your insurance policy: Before visiting a pediatric clinic, be sure you review your insurance policy so you know what expenses you’ll be responsible for, including copays, coinsurance, and deductibles.
Double-check the coverage that is included within your insurance plan, too. If your child receives services that aren’t covered by your insurance policy, you’ll likely be on the hook for the bill.
Only use in-network pediatric clinics: While you’re reviewing your insurance policy, be sure to check which clinics and urgent cares are in your plan’s network. Should you choose to use an out-of-network pediatric center, you may be responsible for a greater amount of the expenses.
Research before visiting a pediatric center: Unless it’s an emergency, it may be a good idea to shop around for the most affordable pediatric center. Many parents may not realize that clinics and urgent cares set their own prices, and have different rates for insured and uninsured patients.
Take advantage of available free medical services: Have you checked to see if there are any free clinics in your area? Do some research to see if there are any free medical services or free pediatric centers in your area that you can take advantage of.
While these services may have longer wait times or inconvenient scheduling, they can be well worth the money you’ll save on childcare expenses.
Check with your employer for health spending accounts: Some employers offer healthcare spending accounts to their employees. These accounts help you save money on healthcare, because you can choose to deposit funds into the account from your paycheck pre-taxed.