How Much Money Does It Cost to Fix a Broken Arm Without Health Insurance?

Written by James Hirby and Fact Checked by The Law Dictionary Staff  

Living without adequate health insurance coverage can be ruinous. Fortunately, new rules and regulations designed to reduce the number of Americans who lack such coverage have begun to take effect. By 2020, it's estimated that fewer than one in 15 Americans will lack health insurance. While this is still a fairly high number by the standards of the developed world, it would represent a massive improvement from the situation that prevailed for much of the 20th century.

Whether you procure group health insurance through your employer or must find single-coverage insurance on the open market, it's in your financial interest to obtain health insurance. Unless you're well-heeled, you'll find the cost of even a relatively simple procedure like diagnosing and setting a broken arm to be fantastically expensive. The exact price that you'll pay for your injury will depend upon the severity and complexity of the break or fracture as well as the cost scale used by your hospital or clinic. Your ongoing costs will be determined primarily by the availability of payment plans at your medical provider.

Despite its apparent expense, fixing a broken arm is a relatively routine medical procedure that's performed many thousands of times per year in hospitals across North America. As such, it's relatively cheap compared to more complex treatments and procedures. If you're suffering from a simple fracture to one of the bones in your forearm or wrist, your total costs will probably range between $2,500 and $3,500. However, a complex fracture or full break that involves broken skin and nerve or muscle damage could cost several times this amount. If you're required to undergo any physical therapy as a result of your injury, your costs will undoubtedly rise further.

There are multiple components to the process of diagnosing and treating a fractured or broken arm. First, you'll need to receive an X-ray to confirm that your bone is in fact broken. This could cost between $150 and $220. If your break requires a CT scan for further confirmation, you'll have to pay an additional $500 to $1,000.

You'll also need to receive a splint, cast or other setting. Depending upon the size and type of setting that you receive, this will cost you between $200 and $400. You'll also need to pay for several visits to the doctor or clinic. Each of these will cost between $150 and $300. Before you agree to pay for your treatment, be sure to ask your healthcare provider about any payment plans on offer.

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