Doctors typically charge more to see new patients because it requires additional time to learn about the patient's history plus additional resources to deal with the new patient, Consumerist explains. Some health insurance companies cover the additional costs.
Many physicians or other health care providers also charge a new patient fee to a former patient who hasn't been seen in the practice or facility for many years. Insurance companies may not cover the new patient fee in this case, notes Consumerist. Some facilities, such as the University of California, Davis Medical Center, begin levying these charges once a patient has been absent for three years.