Consumer Tips

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. In-network providers 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. Preventive care is 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.
  • Compare costs. Use the price tools on your medical plan carrier’s website so you can make informed choices before getting healthcare services:
    • Anthem: 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.
  • 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.
  • Shop smart for prescriptions. Using generic alternatives will almost always save you money — and they may be 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.

Know Where to Go for Care Chart


Doctor’s Office

Urgent Care Clinic

Emergency Room


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
  • Ear infections, pink eye
  • Sore throat
  • Fever
  • Routine exam, screening
  • Checkup, vaccine, prescription refill
  • 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: $

Average price: $$

Average price: $$$


$0 (preventive);
$176 (non-preventive)


$821 (minor);
$1,644 (moderate);
$3,069 (severe)


LiveHealth Online
(Anthem members only)

Call your regular doctor or search for an in-network provider on your medical plan carrier’s website

Locate accredited and preferred centers at

Call 911 or search online for the nearest hospital

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