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What's the Average Cost of a Podiatrist Visit?

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Bunions, foot pain, athlete's foot, athlete’s foot, ingrown toenails and other foot troubles can negatively impact your quality of life, particularly if have to avoid walking due to pain.

Fortunately, foot doctors - known as podiatrists - are specially trained to help with all your foot maladies. How much does a podiatrist visit cost? In most cases, insurance should cover a portion of or the entire cost of your visit. You'll also learn how you can avoid the out-of-pocket cost.

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Podiatrist Consultation Cost

Before scheduling a visit with a podiatrist, it is important to see if your insurance will cover the cost of the appointment to determine the cost of seeing a podiatrist.

If your problem is determined to be medically necessary, your insurance will most likely cover the cost of your initial consultation. Medicare only covers foot care that is deemed medically necessary.

What Is the Cost of Podiatrist Visit Without Insurance?

If you do not have insurance coverage, you will want to inquire at your podiatrist's office about prices for patients that pay cash. Some clinics offer special discounts to patients that pay in cash since the clinic gets paid immediately rather than having to wait for insurance companies to process claims.

For cash paying individuals, a short, initial consultation will likely fall in the range of $69 to $413 dollars. Ultimately, the price will depend on where you live and how long your appointment lasted.

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Follow-Up Treatments

Typically, follow-up appointments will cost roughly the same as initial consultations. You can expect to pay around $69 to $413 per appointment, depending on the location and experience of the podiatrist.

If treatment or surgery is required, insurance will make a huge difference. Podiatrist callus removal cost, podiatrist cost for an ingrown toenail, or podiatrist bunion removal cost will run you significantly higher than a standard visit.

For instance, the surgery required to remove a bunion runs between $5,200 to almost $16,000.

Orthotics may fall under non-covered services. For example, some orthotics are excluded under Aetna, unless they have been specifically prescribed for postsurgical rehabilitation. Under North Carolina's Blue Cross Blue Shield, orthotics are covered only when they are prescribed by a physician and deemed medically necessary. Under Aetna, routine foot care, corns, calluses, and bunion treatment are also not included in coverage.

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The Latest Technologies

Podiatry offices may utilize innovative procedures that are not covered by your insurance company. These procedures are more effective and less painful than cheaper forms of treatment. Over time, it decreases the number of follow-up visits due to a more efficient procedure.

For instance, laser treatment is often more appealing to individuals suffering from toenail fungus. Rather than months or oral or topical treatment, lasers can get directly to the source of the fungus and eradicate it. However, this procedure is more costly and is usually not covered by insurance.

Cost can’t be the only consideration but it is usually one of the determining factors. When you have options between a cheaper method and a costly method, you need to determine which method will be the most cost-effective over the course of the treatment, not just for a one-time visit.

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How to Avoid Surgery Out-of-Pocket Costs

If you do need surgery to treat an ingrown toenail, bunion or various other foot ailments, there’s a chance you’ll end up stuck with a bill for several thousand dollars. In this sense, it is well worth doing whatever you can to limit the expenses you’ll have to pay out of your own pocket.

Luckily, there are a variety of different tactics you can use that can potentially limit the total costs of the procedure and thus lessen the financial burden it places on you. As previously mentioned, paying in cash is one way you may be able to get a discount on your procedure, but it can be well worth following these other steps as well.

Ask for an Estimate of the Total Costs. Many patients are surprised to learn that most health professionals will actually provide an estimate of the total costs. In fact, you can usually ask for an estimate even before making an appointment, and in this way, you’ll at least know beforehand what sort of out-of-pocket expenses you may be facing.

Shop Around. One major benefit of asking doctors for an estimate is that it allows you to shop around and potentially find a better price on the same procedure. In addition, you can also look up estimated costs online and then use this information to better judge whether or not you’re getting a good price.

Try to Negotiate a Discount. Although this isn’t always the case, some podiatry offices may be willing to give you a discounted rate on your procedure. This is more often the case in places with a lot of competition or where numerous people offer the same procedure. Still, the fact that you also have estimates from other offices means that you might be able to leverage this to get a better rate from your preferred specialist. For this reason, it is well worth asking ahead of time.

Be Prepared to Travel If Necessary. Healthcare costs can vary quite dramatically from city to city and state to state. In some cases, there are even big cost discrepancies within different socioeconomic areas of the same city. What this means is that you can sometimes greatly reduce your total expenses if you’re willing to travel a bit further away from home. Of course, it’s still important to shop around since you may also find that the added cost of travel means it will still be cheaper for you to have the procedure performed locally.

Final Thoughts

How much does it cost to see a podiatrist? How can you avoid the out-of-pocket cost? Hopefully, you no longer have to wonder after reading this article.

All in all, the average cost of podiatrist visit will likely run you between $69 to over $400 in some cases. The final cost depends on your insurance adjustments and coverage, treatment needed, and the length of the appointment.

Related Articles: Save money on your health insurance by comparing prices

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