How Much Does an Annual Physical Exam Cost?
While some say that an annual physical “yields too few benefits for its cost” (wellnessletter.com), some insurance companies still require policyholders to get them. An annual physical will check certain vitals and do a few simple tests in an attempt to detect signs of danger early enough to prevent potential health problems. Certain companies may also require annual physicals, especially if your job requires physical exertion to any extent. If it is required by your insurance, then the insurance should cover the cost minus your deductible. If it is required by the company for which you work, you may have to check with your insurance company to confirm coverage.
How much does a physical cost?
- Those who have annual physicals covered under their insurance will only have to pay the deductible, which could be as low as $0 or as high as a couple hundred dollars depending on the insurance provider.
- If you are without insurance and are in need of a physical, making an appointment with your family doctor will cost about $100 to $250.
- Scheduling an appointment with a walk-in clinic may be cheaper, perhaps around $100. However, this may not be accepted by your employer or insurance company and is usually not as extensive. For instance, at CVS, the prices for a physical can cost anywhere from $59 for a sports physical to as much as $109 for a DOT physical.
- According to a patient on Fatwallet, his physical bills cost him more than $900 total. One of the main reasons that the bill was so high was because of the additional blood work that had to be done.
- Check with your health insurance company because you will find that most will cover this as it’s deemed a preventative procedure. It’s always best to talk with your insurance company to help better understand your co-pays, deductibles, etc.
- According to this CNN article, each visit will cost insurers about $150.
What is going to be included?
- The first thing the doctor (or nurse) will usually do is take your vitals. This includes your temperature, blood pressure, pulse, and respiratory rate.
- An exam based on appearance may be administered. This would include things like an eye exam and a balance and reflex test.
- Usually, an interview process is used to determine if you are having any health issues or pain for any reason.
- Height, weight, and body mass index will be taken to determine if you are at your healthiest weight.
- Some simple tests, such as a chest x-ray and blood test, may be done to screen for possible health risks.
- The entire process will take less than 30 minutes.
What are the extra costs?
- If your physical exam results find anything unusual, extra tests and doctors visits may be required.
- Additional blood work may be required depending on the doctor performing the physical. Each additional blood test can result in additional fees. Those will health insurance will more than likely have these procedures covered. The average routine blood test can cost about $25.
Tips to know
- Doctors recommend you get a physical once a year.
- In order to prepare for a physical, you will need a current list of your medications, results for recent tests, your medical history, any symptoms you’re experiencing and questions you want to have answered.
- To go more in depth with the physical, USCD provides a checklist that doctors use when performing a physical exam.
How to compare prices:
- If you are required to have an annual physical, the best way to compare prices is to call your local doctor and your local walk-in clinic. Comparing the prices at these two facilities will give you an idea of what physicals will cost in your area.
- Check with some labs direct such as Qwest Diagnostics. Many of these labs allow you to send them the results directly, and they can process it without a doctor’s approval. By going this route, it can save a few hundred dollars.
- Major pharmacies such as CVS have a minute clinic where procedures such as these are performed for a minimal price. Check with a local pharmacy such as CVS and Walgreens in your local area to see what they have to offer.
- College students may be able to get physicals for less than $25.
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