5 Cheapest Ways To See a Doctor Without Insurance

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Seeking Care

Healthcare is broken in the United States. The costs are exorbitant, millions remain uninsured, and tens of thousands of Americans die every year because they can’t afford medical attention. That said, there are ways to survive in the U.S. healthcare system — especially if you know where to find affordable health care. 

We’ll cover five of the cheapest ways to see a doctor without insurance and answer some common questions regarding uninsured care. If your condition is life-threatening, don't wait. Call 911 or go to an emergency room immediately.

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1. Community Health Centers

Costs: Free to low

Community healthcare centers provide primary care to all on a sliding-scale basis, meaning that uninsured patients will pay based on their income. Some low- or no-income patients may even be eligible for a free visit. Services include preventative care, dental cleanings, vaccinations, and even support for mental health, though treatment options will vary by location. 

To find one of the 1,400 community health centers, use this tool from the federal Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA). The National Association of Free & Charitable Clinics also has a search for free and low-cost healthcare.

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2. Urgent Care Center

Costs: Low to medium

Urgent care facilities offer low-cost healthcare for patients — both insured and uninsured — with non-life-threatening conditions. According to a Forbes analysis, the average cost of an urgent care visit can range between $32 and $175, depending on what treatment and lab tests you need. For example, a wellness exam might cost $139, while a few stitches might be $150.

Related: Inflation Drives Consumers To Postpone Medical Care at Record Rate

Amazon Clinic Screenshot
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3. Amazon Clinic

Costs: Low

For around $30 to $40, both uninsured and insured patients can receive treatment and virtual, chat-based consultations via Amazon’s online clinic. Like the MinuteClinic at CVS, Amazon’s service is perfect for simple, everyday healthcare issues like seasonal allergies, asthma, high blood pressure, COVID-19, and birth control. However, the service is only available in 33 states. If Amazon Clinic isn’t available or can’t treat your illness, consider other telehealth providers.

Related: Amazon Clinic Lets You Skip the Waiting Room — Here's How

CVS Health

4. Walk-In Clinics

Costs: Low to medium

Similar to urgent care centers, walk-in clinics offer affordable healthcare and don’t require an appointment. Many pharmacy chains — such as Walgreens and CVS — have opened their own retail clinics, some of which are even cheaper than urgent care. CVS has a helpful price list so that patients can find out how much treatment costs before they show up. 

Nurse practitioners, doctors, and other licensed health professionals at CVS’ MinuteClinic can vaccinate against meningitis ($205), treat bug bites and stings (between $99 and $139), and screen for HIV ($99-$139), among a whole host of other everyday treatments.

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Emergency Department

5. Emergency Room (ER)

Costs: High

Thanks to the Emergency Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA), emergency rooms must see all patients regardless of whether they have insurance or can afford treatment. But the bad news is that they aren’t cheap. According to GoodRx, the average cost for a non-emergency visit to the ER is $2,000. 

However, if you are suffering from an emergency medical condition such as chest pain or shortness of breath, you should go to your nearest ER as soon as possible.

Medicare Health Insurance Card
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Medicare or Medicaid

If your income is low, you’re over 65, or both, then you could qualify for subsidized health insurance from the government. Check to see if you’re eligible at healthcare.gov.

Health Insurance

Frequently Asked Questions

How much is a doctor’s visit without insurance?

Prices vary depending on where you go, what type of treatment you need, and your income level. For some low-income individuals, community health centers will be free, while other affordable options could cost from $30 to a couple hundred dollars.

What is the cheapest way to see a doctor?

The cheapest way to see a doctor is to visit a community health center. Or, if you only need basic care, try a low-cost telehealth provider.

How can I lower my medical bills?

Patients can request payment plans and apply for financial assistance before they receive medical care. Some hospitals even give discounts for those who pay in cash. For more information, check out our guide on how to negotiate medical bills