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Navigating Healthcare Costs: Understanding Yearly Standard Medical Expenses

In today’s healthcare landscape, understanding and managing medical expenses are crucial for individuals and families alike. Routine checkups at the doctor, dentist, and optometrist are essential for preventing healthcare problems that could be costly to treat. While you may be saving money in the long run, routine care at your family practitioner still adds up. It is typically recommended to get a physical once a year, to have your teeth cleaned twice a year, and eyes checked once every two years.

To gauge yearly standard medical expenses, we compiled healthcare prices from the COLI 2023 Annual Average publication to examine the expenses incurred over one and two years for visits to optometrists, dentists, and doctors across metro areas. By summing the price of these visits, we can estimate the total yearly expenditure on standard medical care for an individual. Nationally, the average cost for the first year, including one doctor’s visit and two dentist visits, amounts to $364.30. In the subsequent year, incorporating the optometrist visit, the average rises to $490.12.

The average 2 bedroom rent according to COLI data in 2023 was $1,512. So, you could be paying a third of your monthly rent every year for the most basic medical expenses. By examining the costs associated with these services across various metro areas, we can identify where it is most and least expensive for your annual and biennial visits.

Southern cities seem to offer the most budget-friendly options for an annual doctor’s visit and two dentist visits, while two Alaskan metros stand out at the top with costs exceeding $550. Surprisingly, Augusta-Aiken GA ranks near the bottom in terms of cost, while Columbus GA leans towards the higher end, with individual visits nearing $200 each. Now that we’ve established the cost of standard healthcare visits in a given year, what’s the additional expense when incorporating an optometrist visit in the second year?

Richmond, IN, and Harlingen, TX, have joined the list, with Richmond being the sole metro from a Northern state. Once more, Alaska approaches the top of the list, with Anchorage, AK, also included this time.

Standard office visits allow individuals to maintain their overall well-being and address emerging health concerns. Despite the need for these services, navigating a pricey healthcare landscape is unavoidable. Hopefully, data like COLI can help individuals and families make informed decisions about where to spend their medical dollars.

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