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Save on Healthcare: Cheap Immunizations at the Health Department

Written by Nickel - 9 Comments

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As a followup to this morning’s post on how to save on health insurance, I wanted to pass along a frugal healthcare tip that my wife an I learned shortly after our oldest son was born. At the time, we were living on a shoestring budget as graduate students. The good news is that we had health insurance. The bad news is that it covered a very limited amount of well-child care.

If you’re a parent, then you’re likely aware that babies require a lot in the way of well-child care. There are frequent checkups and numerous vaccinations in that first year, and these things add up fast. Unfortunately, we would’ve tapped out our well-child allowance in the first visit or two if we had allowed our pediatrician to administer the necessary vaccinations. That would’ve left us on our own for well-child care for the balance of the year, and we really couldn’t afford that.

Instead of biting the bullet, we explored our options. In doing so, we discovered that the county health department offered the very same immunizations for the low price of $20 per visit, regardless of how many shots you needed. Given that it would’ve cost $50-$100 per shot at the doctor’s office, we saved a ton of money without compromising on quality of care.

Published on March 18th, 2009 - 9 Comments
Filed under: Frugality

About the author: is the founder and editor-in-chief of this site. He's a thirty-something family man who has been writing about personal finance since 2005, and guess what? He's on Twitter!

Comments (scroll down to add your own):

  1. Good for you!
    You may also want to know if you have a Hospital connected to a school, UMDNJ in Newark, NJ is a great example, you can utilize their excellent dental clinic. I know someone who had her kids both get their braces through them when she was a single parent and money was tight. We also had a friend get some major reconstruction work for dentures there as well. They both had good experiences.

    Comment by Anonymous — Mar 18th 2009 @ 5:18 pm
  2. We did this when we had a Health Savings Account. It’s amazing how much money you can save on health care, when you look around and find better options.

    Anytime we went to the doctor and they prescribed some medecine, I asked for samples and invariably they would give me enough to get us through.

    Comment by Anonymous — Mar 18th 2009 @ 8:30 pm
  3. This is also great if you’re traveling to some place that needs those kinds of shots. This is how I got the shots necessary to visit N. Africa, Russia, & South America (multiple trips) during college. The only down side was being responsible for the shot record, especially when moving twice a year (in & out of dorms).

    Comment by Anonymous — Mar 18th 2009 @ 11:18 pm
  4. Great advice! Thanks for sharing it.

    Comment by Anonymous — Mar 19th 2009 @ 3:57 am
  5. What state? Not every state is like that … many states have income restrictions as to who may benefit from such programs!

    Comment by Anonymous — Mar 19th 2009 @ 8:28 am
  6. I used the county public health department for prenatal checkups and a reduced-rate delivery. It was all I could afford.
    A relative of mine is using public health to immunize her kids because she could not afford health insurance.
    While you’re in the public health department, browse among the brochures and other items they have available — free health advice! Sometimes they have free things for kids such as coloring books or comic books about health and wellness.

    Comment by Anonymous — Mar 22nd 2009 @ 3:18 am
  7. We recently found out about these options. We are excited to begin to use these so that we don’t have to pay an arm and a leg. I can’t wait until we can afford health insurance for ourselves!

    Comment by Anonymous — Mar 23rd 2009 @ 1:06 am
  8. Universal healthcare. More gov’t control. Increased taxes. Sure sounds like communism. I’d have to say this is the sole reason my family of Drs left Canada and moved to the USA. I trust it never happens.
    Immunizations? Poison. Toxic. Deadly. Never.

    Comment by Anonymous — Oct 2nd 2009 @ 3:24 pm
  9. vaccination is very important before or after travel to abroads.

    Comment by Anonymous — Sep 24th 2013 @ 6:08 am

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