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Paying Bills without Checks

by One Recovering Debtor, September 7, 2004 (printed by permission)

I am one recovering debtor.

"If you no longer write checks---how do you pay items such as co-pays at doctor's and dentist's offices and the like...? "

I use cashier's check (first choice), then cash or my debit card

"Do your doctors, dentists etc...take cash?"

Yes. Most accept my co-pay or 20% of total at the time of the visit (if they will submit the claim) and then send me a bill later for whatever my insurance will not cover (that bill gets paid on the first or the 15th when I pay all my other bills). I pay that all bills either with a cashier's check (first choice) or via phone with the debit card (second choice).

I have had doctors who do not participate in my insurance plan or who prefer full payment and for me to submit my own insurance claim and get reimbursed. In these cases I have to save up until I have enough for the visit, and bring the money in an envelope or a cashier's check to the visit.

I am fortunate that my health has been good, and I have excellent
insurance which I use -- before going to the doctor I call and ask a
couple questions

  1. Do you work with my insurance company? If yes, what will the co- pay be? How are the bills handled?
  2. Do you work with my insurance company? If no,
  3. How much will the appointment cost?
  4. Can you tell me what I procedures I will be having done and the insurance codes? (So I can check with my insurance to make sure they cover it)
  5. What are the payment options (cash, check, debit, etc.)

I try to bring a good selection of bills and coins since many places do not keep a cash box and cannot give change so I like to have the exact.

It helps me to have a prudent reserve for unexpected expensees and a lot of clarity BEFORE I go in, because I have had surprises at the doctors when I did not.

Hope this helps, take what you want and leave the rest.