Are online deals the new way to afford health care? - Dallas News |

Discount Doctors: Are online deals the new way to afford health care?

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Discount medical services are popping up on deal-of-the-day websites.

From Living Social, to Amazon to Chicago-based Groupon, enticing coupons promoting medical and dental services attract the uninsured and the underinsured.

"Because it's within price ranges for certain people that can't afford insurance or don't have insurance and they have to pay out of pocket," says Gold Coast resident Megan Urek. "Especially since they're offering teeth cleanings and things like that, that don't get covered under insurance."

On Groupon, 1st Family Dental offers nearly 80 percent off teeth whitening and on Amazon Local, it offers a dental exam and teeth whitening treatment for $79.

"Social networking help us spread the word that there really is an alternative to high dental treatment and we probably don't make as much money but we still can survive, we can pay our employees and pass on the savings to our patients," explains Ghassan Abboud, president of 1st Family Dental.

And the deep discounts go beyond dental services.

"Actually it was someone who worked at the optometrist office who told me, you know, if you go and join Groupon you can get $200 off your glasses here and so I did. I mean that's sizable chunk of change," says Groupon customer Ariel Brenner.

With one click we discovered, nearly 80 percent off spider vein treatments, more than half off LASIK surgery and a four hour visit at the chiropractor for $45 - it usually cost nearly 600 bucks.

"Because of the economy it's very expensive for a lot of people who cannot get health insurance or dental insurance through their job so looking at these deals a lot of times makes a lot of sense," Abboud adds.

But there is a catch. Most discount websites rely on state officials to ensure the medical professionals have the appropriate certifications so do your research.

A Groupon spokesperson tells FOX 32 the company relies on state officials to monitor providers.

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