graphic symbolizing "Costs"
 

Cost 3: Co-pay

Co-pay

A fixed dollar ($$) amount you pay when you get a health service, except for preventive services.

 
Graphic 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.
 
 

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. 

 
 
graphic of an insurance card front with the word "co-pay" highlighted
 
 

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.