NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Coupon-cutting can save you hundreds of dollars a year on groceries. Now it can also save you on medical care, everything from a check up to a flu shot, teeth cleaning to allergy screening.
Melissa Morgan’s health insurance doesn’t cover trips to the dentist.
“I’d been looking around for a place that wasn’t too expensive,” Morgan said.
Morgan found a coupon for a great dental deal online. She got a cleaning, x-rays, and an exam for $50, CBS 2’s Maurice DuBois reported.
Consumers are used to finding coupons for restaurants, spas and retailers aon daily deal sites like Groupon, Living Social, Mercer Deals and Gilt City. You can also find discounts and other great offers right here with CBS Local Offers. Now you can also find discounts for a wide variety of medical services.
“Doctors are getting in on this,” said Kelli Grant of Smart Money magazine. “They realized it’s a very good way to get new patients.”
From the dentist to the eye doctor – even an internist – anyone can use these coupons, anywhere, whether you have insurance or not, or are underinsured.
“Most recently we’ve been offering the Lasik correction eye surgery deal,” said Dr. Irfan Iqbel, President and CEO of Astoria Medical, Dental, And Lasik Center.
Dr. Iqbel says online discounts have definitely helped increase the visibility of his new medical practice, and they help those who can’t afford to pay full price.
“Normally they would have to… pay thousands of dollars. With the assistance of deals on Groupon, it cuts it considerably.”
“The discounts… are in the neighborhood of 50 percent for some of these procedures,” said Grant.
Procedures range from a simple flu shot, to a physical, even a laser treatment – all sorts of procedures can be discounted.
Jason Murray recently used a coupon for Lasik eye surgery, which isn’t covered by most medical plans, and says it saved him about $2,000.
“There it was, a coupon saying half off Lasik,” said Murray. “I was like ‘It’s meant to be.'”
“It does sound on the surface like a win-win,” said Grant.
Consumer experts say you should research the doctor offering the coupon before making an appointment. They also counsel to avoid chasing deals.
“Oftentimes these coupons are good for new patients or first time visits only,” said Grant. “Are you OK with switching medical providers every time you need something?”
Both Morgan and Murray say they were happy with the results of their care, and wouldn’t have been able to afford it otherwise.