When it comes to purchasing products, we almost always look at the price tag. Yet with all the money we spend on healthcare — from premiums to prescriptions to doctor’s office visits — we rarely think about the price of these services. And as healthcare prices continue to rise, that ends up costing more for you and Green Dot Public Schools. Here are ways you can help control your health spending.

  • Use in-network providers. They’ve agreed to charge only up to negotiated rates and bill your insurance company directly, which saves you money and time. Also, check with your insurance company to ensure that the services you and your dependents require are covered before you receive care. Note: If you’re enrolling in an HMO plan (if available in your area), the plan only pays benefits for care received in network.
  • Keep up with preventive care. It’s covered in full by all of our medical plans as long as you stay in network, and can help detect and prevent potentially costly health issues early. You pay nothing for in-network annual physicals, recommended immunizations, routine cancer screenings, and more.
  • Use tax-free money to pay for eligible health expenses. Contributing to a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) is easy and saves you money on expenses you’d have to pay anyway. We offer an FSA for healthcare and another for dependent care expenses such as child and elder care.
  • Shop smart for prescriptions. Using generic alternatives will almost always save you money — and they’re just as effective as brand-name prescriptions. It’s also a good idea to call a few local pharmacies to compare prices before deciding where to fill a prescription. For your ongoing prescriptions use the mail order service provided by your medical plan to save money:
  • Compare costs. Use the price tools on your medical plan carrier’s website so you can make informed choices before getting healthcare services:
    • Anthem (CA only): Visit Anthem’s website to search for in-network providers and use cost estimating tools to figure out what you may have to pay for care before you go to your doctor.
    • Aetna (TN only): Visit Aetna’s website to search for in-network providers and use cost comparison tools to estimate and compare prices of many common medical services according to your specific plan.
  • Choose the right place to get care. Not all facilities charge the same amount for similar care, so think about your available options when you or a family member needs medical attention. Going to the right place for your situation will help you save money and get the most appropriate care.
Teladoc Doctor’s office Urgent care clinic Emergency room
Use it for
A common, non-emergency medical issue that can be diagnosed by phone or online A condition that doesn’t need immediate attention and can wait until the next day A condition that needs immediate care but is not life- or limb-threatening A life-threatening or potentially crippling condition that needs immediate attention
  • Colds and allergies, flu/cough
  • Ear infections, pink eye
  • Behavioral health
  • Sore throat, fever
  • Routine exam, screening
  • Checkup, vaccine, prescription
  • Broken bone, severe sprain or strain
  • Cut requiring stitches
  • Anxiety attack
  • Sudden weakness, dizziness, or loss of consciousness
  • Uncontrollable bleeding
  • Chest pain, difficulty breathing

Average price: $


Average price: $
$0 (preventive);

$176 (non-preventive)

Average price: $$


Average price: $$$

$821 (minor); $1,644 (moderate); $3,069 (severe)
Find it
Teladoc Call your regular doctor or search for an in-network provider on your medical plan carrier’s website Locate accredited and preferred centers at aaucm.org/patients/findurgentcarecenter Call 911 or search online for the nearest hospital

*Average costs are from healthcarebluebook.com. Contact your medical plan carrier for your specific costs.

5 tips to save money