SOUTHWEST FLORIDA - Deal seekers are turning to the Internet for more than just restaurant coupons. they're getting medical services at a fraction of the price. And people in Southwest Florida are cashing in.
According to Dealradar.com, 1 in every 11 deals offered online is for a health care service. You can also find a few in your mailbox. It's a chance for people who may not have been able to afford it before, to get the treatment they need.
we offered an x-ray, cleaning, exam, and whitening for $90, normally runs over $300, so you can see the value there. a lot of patients signed up>
Dr. Phillip Kraver of Cape Dental Care says people are traveling all the way from Orlando and Tampa to get their teeth checked out. In 3 days, they sold 74 deals on LivingSocial.com
"Most of the patients that sign up are not insured, so this is a good way for them to really get quality care at a really good fee," Kraver said.
The uninsured appear to be the ones cashing in. For Naples and Estero Urgent Care, you can get a coupon for "50% off the first doctor's visit to all new patients without insurance." At Fort Myers Dental Care, the coupon reads, "No dental insurance? No problem!" It will give you an exam, X-ray, and cleaning for $89.
The deals are also helping those in need of procedures not covered by insurance. Dr. Eliot Sherr at Naples Foot Doctor sold about 70 Groupons for 3 Laser Toenail-Fungus-Removal Treatments.
"Toenail fungus is very very difficult to treat," Maryellen Gardiepy of Naples Foot Doctor said. "The price of the Groupon was $199 to treat up to 5 toes. The regular price for 5 toes is $750."
65 patients took advantage of $129 Sclerotherapy Vein Reduction Treatments from RRC Vascular Specialists. It normally runs for $350.
"It's those little spider veins that people just hate and they kind of pop up on people like weeds in a garden," RRC Director Betty Herman said. "To be able to get those treated and have those go away, it's a great boost."
Linda Monisera tried it and was thrilled with the results. She says these days, her coupon-buying is focused more on needs than luxuries.
"It was good because I would have not probably had it done even though I wanted to, had this coupon not showed up," Monisera said.
Those who've offered coupons say it's not really about making money. In the end, they only get half of the profit. They say it's about reaching out to a whole different group of patients. So far, they say it's been successful.