Despite recent efforts by the government to instill health insurance coverage in the lives of every American citizen, many are without such help. With over 30 million Americans still being uninsured, paying for trips to the doctor out of pocket isn’t unusual. Plus, even though 90 % of Americans do have coverage, that doesn’t mean it’s all-encompassing. Many health insurance plans fail to cover what some people consider to be basic needs. Dermatology is one of them. Sometimes it’s not covered at all. Most often, it’s something that requires a referral from a primary care physician or a pre-authorization from the insurance company to seek since the dermatologist is considered to be a specialist. It is very few who can go directly to the dermatologist without having to take any of the aforementioned steps along the way. So, how much is it going to cost if you don’t have the coverage you need to see the dermatologist?
A typical consultation with a dermatologist can run you as little as $90 or as much as $175, depending on where you live. Aside from that, treatment appointments vary widely based on the issue you’re seeking care for. An appointment with a dermatologist to scan the body for potentially problematic growths, like pre-cancerous moles, may cost as much as $200 for the good doctor’s time. Having such lesions removed can also be costly. For example, having a dermatologist remove melanoma is quite expensive. Mole removal alone can cost as much as $300 per mole.
Perhaps you want to visit the dermatologist a few times to take care of some eczema? That will run you close to $600 in some regions. Are you suffering from psoriasis? Plan on closer to $1,000 or more for a few laser treatments. What about a trip to the dermatologist for one of the most common reasons—acne. This type of skin problem usually requires more than one trip to the doctor and is an ongoing issue when it hormonally driven. Just one visit can cost $200. Multiply that by four to six times a year and you’re looking at a hefty bill. Add on prescription creams and cleansers and you’re looking at even more money spent.
Fortunately, there are a few ways to help foot the bill of dermatology. First and foremost, if it can wait, let it. If the issue you’re seeking help with is minor, such as hormonal breakouts once a month, work on cleaning up your diet and exercising first, as well as keeping the skin clean and hydrated. If you must visit the dermatologist, look for one who has a sliding scale payment plan or will work with you on making structured payments over time. Some offices also offer medical credit programs that will cover the bills you incur seeing the dermatologist, but you must pay them back with interest. Thus, it’s in your best interest to carefully weigh all options before proceeding, because the dermatologist is usually not one stop shopping.