1 of 2


: allowing customers to pay for goods or services without assistance (as by using a payment kiosk)
a self-pay parking garage
self-pay gas stations
: making payment (as of a medical bill) with one's own money rather than money from another source (such as a health insurance company)
Self-pay patients who are uninsured will typically pay roughly 25 to 40 percent of the total price for ER visits—so the larger the charge, the larger the out-of-pocket bill.Anna Wolfe
: relating to or involving payment (as of a medical bill) with one's own money
self-pay treatments/procedures
the hospital's self-pay options
The increase in insurance deductibles and self-pay portions of costs for outpatient services …Pamela Sherrod
… the hospital said the MRI price in the survey was too high. But it would not disclose what it said would be the self-pay price.Anna Werner


2 of 2


self-paid ˈself-ˈpād How to pronounce self-pay (audio) ; self-paying; self-pays

transitive verb

: to pay (something, such as a medical bill) with one's own money rather than money from another source (such as a health insurance company)
The average person cannot afford to self-pay for bariatric surgical procedures …Neil Hutcher

Examples of self-pay in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
The company added about 131,000 new self-pay subscribers in the quarter, leading to a year-end total of about 34 million, but lost 445,000 self-pay subscribers across the full year. Caitlin Huston, The Hollywood Reporter, 12 Feb. 2024 As of the end of 2023, Sirius’ self-pay subscriber base stood at more than 31.9 million, with its total users standing at nearly 33.9 million. Georg Szalai, The Hollywood Reporter, 1 Feb. 2024 The satellite radio giant lost 445,000 self-pay subscribers for the full year, however. Glenn Peoples, Billboard, 1 Feb. 2024 But the deepest risk of the rise in self-pay patients, according to Chris Thomas, principal health fellow at the Institute for Public Policy Research, a progressive think tank, is not to the health service’s operations, but to its political underpinnings. Stephen Castle, New York Times, 9 Dec. 2023 The company ended September with around 6.1 million total self-pay customers at Pandora. SiriusXM, however, recorded quarterly advertising revenue in its Pandora and Off-Platform unit of $418 million, up 3 percent from the year-ago period and up 5 percent over the second quarter of 2023. Etan Vlessing, The Hollywood Reporter, 31 Oct. 2023 At its Pandora streaming business, the company added 7,000 net self-pay subscribers in the second quarter of 2023, compared with a year-ago loss of 9,000. Georg Szalai, The Hollywood Reporter, 1 Aug. 2023 Permits can be purchased in-person at the launching sites either with on-site personnel or at self-pay stations, or online. Drew Dawson, Journal Sentinel, 27 July 2023 Another option is to look into pharmacies that allow you the option to self-pay for your prescriptions instead of using your insurance like Marley Drug, Freedom Pharmacy, DiRx, and more. Sherri Gordon, Health, 12 June 2023
The cost for the procedure at the University of Maryland Medical Center ranges from $28,000 to $30,000 for patients like Carlson who self-pay, according to a spokeswoman for the medical center. Angela Roberts, Baltimore Sun, 2 Mar. 2023 Vasectomy services are available at Planned Parenthood for insurance or self-pay, and there are no grants or financial aid available, officials say. Stephanie Innes, The Arizona Republic, 1 Mar. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'self-pay.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


1932, in the meaning defined at sense 2


1990, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of self-pay was in 1932

Dictionary Entries Near self-pay

Cite this Entry

“Self-pay.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 May. 2024.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!