The kids soon head back to school and you’ve already shelled out money for new clothes and school supplies. Now you need to come up with more cash for sports physicals and back-to-school vaccinations. Here are some tips that might help you save on those expenses.
Visit your primary care provider
If you’re insured, start with your primary care provider. If sports physicals and vaccinations are included for a $10 or $20 copay, that may be your cheapest option. But make sure you call first and ask if your only out-of-pocket expense will be your copay or if there will be any additional charges.
Visit an urgent care or drugstore clinic
CVS MinuteClinic offers both sports physicals and immunizations. And through Sept. 14, sports and camp physicals are $25 off the listed price of $44. Insurance is not accepted for physicals, and payment is due at time of visit. Additional lab charges may apply. Restrictions apply, and the offer is not available at all clinics.
Locations are open seven days a week, including evenings, and no appointment is necessary for either a physical or an immunization in most locations; call ahead to be sure. MinuteClinic accepts most insurance plans for immunizations.
Concentra Urgent Care offers sports physicals, but you’ll need to call your local center and ask for the price. They have historically cost around $35. Concentra also offers vaccinations, so if your child needs shots, you may as well ask about price while you have them on the line. Concentra accepts most types of insurance.
Walgreens clinics offer appointments for physicals and vaccinations as well. Much like other urgent care services, prices vary by location so you’ll have to call and ask.
NextCare is another urgent care that offers sports physicals, as well as immunizations and vaccinations. Their walk-in clinic requires no appointment, but again, it’s best to call your nearest location for a price check before heading out.
Use local and federal clinics or programs
Many city health departments run public clinics that offer childhood vaccinations at low or no cost. To find your local department of health, do an internet search for “Department of Health Your City Name” (e.g., Department of Health Kansas City).
The federal Vaccines for Children (VFC) Program offers vaccinations at no cost for children who are uninsured, underinsured, Medicaid-eligible, or Native American or native Alaskan. Vaccines are administered by private and public health care providers who are enrolled in the VFC Program.
If your child meets one of the above eligibility requirements, ask your doctor if he or she is a VFC provider. If not, contact your city or state’s VFC Coordinator to find out where to get your child vaccinated.
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