Cost 3: Co-pay
A fixed dollar ($$) amount you pay when you get a health service, except for preventive services.
A health service could be a doctor visit, a laboratory test, a prescription medicine or a visit to the emergency room.
Different types of health services have different co-pays.
For example, a doctor’s office visit may have a $15 co-pay. You must pay this at the doctor’s office.
Your co-pay for prescription drugs could be $5 for some medicines and more for others. Make sure to ask your doctor to prescribe a lower-cost medication, if possible. You must pay this co-pay at the pharmacy or drug store.
The co-pay for an emergency room visit will usually cost a lot more. It could be $150 or more.
Some health plans don’t require co-pays until after you have met your annual deductible. Others require co-pays from the moment you start to use your coverage.
How do I find out what my co-pay is?
Easy. Your co-pays are listed on your health insurance card. For example, it might say OV for office visit or ER for emergency room.
If you are not sure what your co-pay is, call the member services telephone number listed on your insurance card. But remember: There are no co-pays for preventive services like a well-woman visit or birth control.