How Much Is a Doctor's Visit Without Insurance? (2024) (2024)

Written by

Tara Farmer

Edited by

Tamatha Hazen

Fact-checked by

Kristen Cramer

Cost of doctor visit without insurance

A doctor's visit without insurance costs $100 to $600 on average for the office visit fee alone, depending on the location, physician type, and whether it's an initial or follow-up visit. Diagnostic tests, medical treatments, and other services often increase the cost. Many doctors now offer virtual appointments for $50 to $200.

Over 25 million people in the United States were living without health insurance in 2023. This guide breaks down the wide range of potential costs and the many factors that influence the cost of a doctor's visit without insurance.

Doctor visit costs without insurance
Visit typeAverage cost without insurance
Primary care in-person $100 – $300*
Specialist in-person $150 – $600*
Doctor's office virtual option $50 – $200*
Retail walk-in clinic $60 – $90 (for immunizations or treatment of minor issues)
Urgent care center $150 – $250 (for treatment of minor issues)
Emergency room $1,500 – $3,000 (non-life-threatening conditions)
$10,000 – $50,000+ (life-threatening conditions)

*Office visit fee only; testing, treatments, prescriptions, and other medical services increase the cost.

As of January 2022, federal law requires medical providers to give you a "good faith estimate" if you schedule at least 3 business days in advance, or if you ask for it. This applies to both uninsured patients and patients who have insurance and are choosing not to use it.

Get free estimates from near you.


Factors that affect the cost of a doctor's visit

Several elements influence the cost to see a doctor without insurance:

  • New vs. existing patient: New patient appointments are often significantly more costly due to the additional time required for initial assessments and paperwork. Established patients may only need a shorter follow-up visit or may be seen by a Nurse Practitioner or Physician's Assistant, which costs less.

  • Virtual vs. in-person: Telehealth appointments are usually more affordable than in-person visits, offering a cost-effective alternative for non-emergencies.

  • Appointment length: Many doctors charge in 10-minute or 15-minute increments. So, a short follow-up appointment will cost much less than one involving a full examination, medical history review, or multiple diagnostic tests.

  • Level of care: Complex medical issues that require significant time and expertise to diagnose and treat cost more than short appointments for simpler, more straightforward problems.

  • Tests & treatments needed: The more services you need, the higher the cost. Each diagnostic test, medical treatment, or procedure has a separate billing code and a separate charge.

  • Payment method: Some doctors charge a lower rate when you use cash and pay in full at the time of service.

  • Geographic location: The cost of living in different areas can significantly impact medical fees.

Facility type

Where you seek medical care significantly affects the cost:

  • Charitable clinic or Community Health Center: The cheapest way to see a doctor without insurance is typically at a charitable clinic or government-funded Community Health Center that charges based on your income.

  • Telemedicine / online medical service: Many online medical provider platforms start at $20 to $50 for an initial consultation and offer discounts on a wide range of medical services that don’t require in-person care.

  • Retail walk-in clinic: Many retailers like Walgreens and CVS now offer several basic healthcare services, with visit fees ranging from $60 to $90.

  • Urgent care: An urgent care visit without insurance costs $150 to $250 on average, though the cost may be higher if you need several tests or treatments. Urgent care centers provide services for non-life-threatening conditions at a lower price than emergency rooms.

  • Doctor's office: A standard visit to a doctor's office without insurance ranges from $100 to $600+. However, many doctors' offices now offer virtual appointments averaging $50 to $200.

  • Emergency room: An ER visit without insurance costs $1,500 to $3,000 for non-life-threatening conditions, with costs escalating quickly based on the level of care and resources utilized.

Appointment type

Doctor visit charges vary depending on the reason for your visit. A preventative care visit, also called a physical, wellness exam, or well-person exam, often costs more than a problem-focused office visit. However, the complexity of a health problem significantly impacts the potential costs associated with diagnosis and treatment.

Types of doctor's appointments
Visit typeDetails
Preventative care
  • Yearly comprehensive exam to review your overall health and identify risks early
  • Often involves:
    • Medical history review
    • Age-appropriate physical & mental health screenings
    • Blood work
    • Pelvic or prostate exam
    • Mammogram
    • Immunizations
Office visit
  • Focuses on new or existing health conditions, concerns, or symptoms
  • May involve:
    • Diagnostic tests
    • Medication management
    • Treatments or recommendations
    • Referral to a specialist
  • Longer initial visit, with shorter follow-up visits

Physician type & specialty

Specialist visits, such as those with a cardiologist or orthopedic doctor, are typically more expensive than appointments with a primary care physician. The following table outlines the average cost of seeing various specialists without insurance:

Medical specialist visit cost without insurance
SpecialtyAverage cost without insurance*
Primary care $150 – $300
Cardiology $200 – $350
Dermatology $150 – $300
OB/GYN $150 – $600
Ophthalmology $150 – $350
Orthopedics $200 – $500
Pain management $200 – $500
Pediatrics $140 – $375
Psychiatry $350 ­­– $500

*Visit cost only; not including labs, imaging, treatments, or other service fees.

Hidden costs & additional expenses

In addition to the upfront visit cost, hidden costs and additional expenses can add up quickly, especially for those with chronic conditions or ongoing health concerns. Added expenses may include diagnostic tests, medical treatments, follow-up visits, prescription medications, and missed work or lost wages due to the appointment.

The following table details several common tests and medical procedures and their associated costs.

Medical test & treatment cost by type
Service typeAverage cost
Diagnostic testing
Blood work cost $25 – $125 per test or panel
Pregnancy blood test cost $20 – $60
COVID testing cost $10 – $300
EKG cost $60 – $250
STD testing cost $30 – $185 (single test)
$125 – $400
(multi-STD screening panel)
Allergy testing cost $60 – $300 (skin test)
$200 – $1,000
(blood test)
Pathology fees $50 – $200+
Diagnostic imaging
X-ray cost $100 – $400+
CT scan cost $300 – $2,000+
MRI cost $350 – $2,500+
PET scan cost $1,200 – $6,000+
Treatments & immunizations
Flu shot cost $20 – $100
Shingles vaccine cost $360 – $500 (full two-dose vaccine regimen)
Allergy shots cost $120 – $630
Cyst removal cost $200 – $900 (non-surgical)
Mole removal cost $150 – $1,000+
Skin tag removal cost $150 – $600+
Physical therapy cost $70 – $160 per session
How Much Is a Doctor's Visit Without Insurance? (2024) (1)

FAQs about seeing a doctor without insurance

Can I visit a doctor without insurance?

You have several options for visiting a doctor without insurance. Community Health Centers are non-profit clinics that offer low-cost or free care. You can also visit urgent care or walk-in clinics, which handle non-life-threatening issues and usually cost less than emergency room visits. Telemedicine services allow virtual medical consultations.

While you can visit most doctors without insurance, you still have to pay for the services you receive. Some doctor's offices require payment upfront at the time of service, while others send you a bill.

Can I go to the hospital without health insurance?

Federal law requires hospitals to provide treatment regardless of insurance status or ability to pay. An ER doctor visit is typically more expensive than seeing a doctor at any other medical facility. However, do not hesitate to go to an emergency room if your life is in danger.

How can I calculate the cost of an upcoming doctor's visit?

Many doctors now post their prices online for full transparency. If the pricing is not available on their website, contact the doctor's office directly and ask for a good faith estimate based on the type of appointment. Ask them what the estimate includes and if there are any other potential fees for the visit.

Strategies to reduce your medical costs without insurance

There are several strategies patients can use to help lower medical bills:

  1. Shop around for the best prices. Mention your uninsured status and ask about cash payments or pay-in-advance discounts.

  2. Look for charitable clinics and Community Health Centers that use a sliding scale fee system and may offer some services for free.

  3. Negotiate costs with healthcare providers when possible and ask about lower-cost alternatives to recommended treatments.

  4. Use online medical services when in-person care isn't necessary, as virtual appointments are typically cheaper.

  5. Ask about payment plans to spread out the cost over time.

  6. Prioritize preventative care, such as regular check-ups, vaccinations, and screenings to reduce your risk of developing more costly chronic health conditions later.

  7. Check to see if you qualify for Medicaid. Eligibility is based on age, household income, family size, and disability.

How we get this data

Using our proprietary cost database, in-depth research, and collaboration with industry experts, we deliver accurate, up-to-date pricing and insights you can trust, every time.

How Much Is a Doctor's Visit Without Insurance? (2024) (2024)


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