General Question

saservp's avatar

How much will it cost me to see a doctor and get prescription without insurance?

Asked by saservp (291points) December 22nd, 2010

I’m unlucky enough to have just arrived from the UK and gotten sick. I’ve only been here about a week so I don’t have insurance yet.

I’m pretty sure I have a urinary tract infection, I know it can probably heal on its own over time but it really hurts and I just want to get some antibiotic or whatever is necessary for it.

How much do you think can I expect to spend, being uninsured, to go see a gynecologist and get a prescription?

Any ideas would help.


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24 Answers

Kayak8's avatar

There are many clinics which charge based on sliding scale (whatever you can pay). Often the meds are available as samples or you can tell the doc of your situation and they can write the best low-cost prescription. Welcome!

saservp's avatar

Oh, and I guess a separate but related question, where do I find a doctor?! Sorry I’m used to the UK where we are all assigned a local doctor down the street or can walk into any hospital in the country… I’m not sure where to find/book/go here in the US.

lillycoyote's avatar

You also might Planned Parenthood if they have one in your area. They basic exams and wellness care too. This shouldn’t be too expensive if you think it’s just a urinary tract infection. You’ll probably see a nurse practitioner rather than an MD but they are very qualified and I’m certain that any medication prescribed for a UTI is available in a generic for and won’t cost all that much but it’s hard to give you specific dollar amounts.

saservp's avatar

Sorry, Alexandria, VA 22302

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

It can cost anywhere from $100 to $250 for a doctor visit and prescription. Save yourself the trouble and:

Buy AZO urinary pain tablets if you’re experiencing discomfort.
Buy AZO concentrated cranberry tablets to treat the infection.
Buy several bottles of Cranberry Juice to treat the infection. But don’t confuse cranberry juice with cranberry juice coctail. The cranberry juice coctail contains a ton of sugar and will make the infection worse.

Total cost about $25.

Do not drink any sodas or alcohol until the infection has been gone for two weeks.

flutherother's avatar

JIngs, what a country! Sorry to hear about your problem. Walmart sell test strips for urinary tract infection and sell over the counter relief If you have to see a doctor it might not be as dear as you think.

saservp's avatar

Thanks everyone, there is a planned parenthood nearby (though it is closed, as is everywhere else). I’m going to run to the store and grab some of the concentrated cranberry, if it doesn’t start getting better by tomorrow i’ll make an appointment, i don’t want to be miserable over the holidays

lillycoyote's avatar

@saservp In the U.S. there are also places generally called “urgent care” centers. They are well staffed are usually open every day into the evenings, till pm or so. They are for when you are in need of emergency services but may not want to wait for an appointment or may not have a primary care physician or specialist of your own. You can walk and will be seen with out an appointment, but depending how busy the facility is at the time you may have to wait anywhere from a half hour to a couple of hours or more to be seen by a doctor so bring something to do. I googled urgent care alexandria va and got these results.

They can do the urine test tand prescribe there. You could probably show up at one of them tomorrow and get it taken care of in a couple of hours.

Just for future reference. I kind of like these people too. I don’t know anything about them, I just found them on the internet, so I can’t recommend them. I just like women centered practices like this one.

Kraigmo's avatar

If you have no money go to any hospital’s ER and complain about your symptoms. Do not diagnose yourself, just complain about how you feel and say you think its pretty severe. They’ll treat you and give you antibiotics if needed. Then they’ll send you a bill later, but if you have no money, ignore it. Some hospitals, such as those run by the Catholic Church, often named “Mercy Hospital” in many cities, and they have other names in other cities… they will forgive your debt if you cannot pay it.

The better option, if you have $50, is to just go to a federal health center.

Most likely, they’ll charge you $25 for the visit and another $20 for the medicine. Even less, sometimes.

MissAnthrope's avatar

I’d like to second @lillycoyote‘s suggestion.. we call them ‘doc in a box’; basically, for anywhere between $50—$150, you can be seen and treated. Some clinics charge different amounts. I had the same problem as you, a bladder infection and no money. I went to one of these walk-in urgent care clinics. I paid $50 and they charged me $5–15 for the urine test and sent me off with a prescription. It happened again years later, same story, and I went to a different clinic that charged $150. The nice thing about that one was that for that cost, everything was included in my visit, including the urine test and I walked out of there with the right pills in hand.

I think you have it right.. if the cranberry doesn’t help, go see a doc. Take it from me, the UTI queen, that if you let it go too long, you could be in for serious pain and suffering. I hope you feel better, I know how awful it feels.

JLeslie's avatar

Yes, urgent care, you can call ahead and tell them what you suspect, and ask what the fees will be. Planned parenthood was also a great idea, bur urgent care should have longer hours.

Drink lots of water. Cranberry might be irritating. Cranberry is better for preventing, but will not cure. In the US there is a drug to help dull UTI pain I think, over the counter. I’ll try to look it up, but you still will need an antibiotic if it does not clear up, can lead to kidney infection, which is very bad.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@JLeslie I’ve never had a problem with cranberry irritating me when I’ve had either a bladder infection, UTI or even a kidney infection. My doctor reccommends it! I’ve only had 1 kidney infection, and that’s because I did something really stupid. The rest of the time if I notice a bladder infection or UTI coming on, I immediately start pouring cranberry juice and taking concentrated cranberry tablets, and it clears it right up.

And the OTC pill to dull the pain is the AZO urinary pain tablets. I’ve used those before also and they work like a charm!

JLeslie's avatar

I just googled and got Uristat as the name of an OTC drug for the pain, but I am having trouble getting on the website.

@WillWorkForChocolate I did not mean to imply she should not try the cranberry. If it works great. There is an OTC cranberry pill also, called Cystex I think? Just remembered that. I guess I should not have said will not cure, but what they have found is cranberry prevents the bacteria from attaching to the bladder or someting like that. I have not read about it in a long time.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I’m not sure about the cranberry tabs from Cystex, but I know Cystex makes pain tabs. I’ve tried those but they didn’t seem to work as well as the AZO. I love all the AZO products. They have the urinary pain tabs, the cranberry tabs and they also make AZO Yeast which is great for yeast infections supposedly.

JLeslie's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate I have never tried any of them, so I am not speaking from experience, just throwing out suggestions. The one time I had a UTI, I drank tons of cranberry juice. I don’t think it made things any worse, but it definetly did not cure me. The doc said I had tons of bacteria on the culture. This is a lot of years ago. All I can say is bullshit men don’t give them to us. I know some women are just prone, but I also think sometimes it is an infection being passed back and forth.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

LOL! I am one of the women who is prone to them, my doc says it’s one of the symptoms of endometriosis, which I’ve been so blessed with… yaayyy.

laureth's avatar

I swear by concentrated cranberry for this sort of thing. What I would not swear by, though, is any suggestion of simply ignoring an Emergency Room bill. In order to get that sort of “free” health care, you have to pretty much disappear and evade the bill collectors. Following that advice is one of the leading causes of bankruptcy filings in the US.

JLeslie's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate But, do you get them out of nowhere, or are you sexually active?

BarnacleBill's avatar

The British consulate recommends going to an urgent care center says to keep your paperwork so you can be reimbursed for your expenses when you return home.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@JLeslie I’m married LOL, but I’ve been getting them since I was a teen. Very frequently. Apparently it’s just part of having endometriosis: prone to bladder infections, yeast infections and the like…

JLeslie's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate Married means nothing. But, in your case it does seem you are simply prone, since you have had them since your teens. But, did they start after you became sexually active?

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Nope. I started getting them about age 14 and was a virgin until 17.

JLeslie's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate Yeah, looks like it is just you. Sucks. Sorry you have to deal with it :).

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

LOL, thanks. I’d like to say that I’m used to it, but I don’t think that’s possible. Bladder infections, yeast infections, ovarian cysts, daily cramps, daily PMS, migraines, bowel problems, debilitating menstrual cycles, hypoglycemia, back pain, total lack of energy/chronic fatigue…........ Calgon take me away! Shit, I can’t use Calgon; it gives me a bladder infection.

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