How to Avoid Long-Distance Charges When Forwarding Your Phone to Your Answering Service

avoid long-distance charges

Some healthcare professionals want to deal with a local medical answering service, even though they could use an answering service located anywhere across the United States. The reasons for their preference vary, but one common motive is that using a local provider eliminates long-distance calls when they forward their phone to their answering service.

Depending on the situation, charges for these long-distance calls can add up. Not only do you pay long-distance when you activate call-forwarding on your line, but every call that forwards also incurs long-distance fees. The more calls your answering service handles, the higher your long-distance charges.

Though this is an understandable reason to go with a local medical answering service, there are alternatives that allow you to avoid long-distance charges when you use an answering service that isn’t within your local calling area.

Expanded Local Number Coverage

To address this concern and avoid long-distance charges when using an answering service, leading providers make available local numbers for their clients—who aren’t local to them—to forward to when using their services.

This means that even if your medical answering service isn’t in your local calling area, they can provide you with a local number to forward to, one that is within your calling area. This allows you to use their service and avoid long-distance charges and hassles.

Making these local numbers available, however, requires a bit of work on the part of your answering service. Some answering services only do this for specific geographic areas that they strategically select. But if your medical practice isn’t in their community or one of their few special areas, you must still forward your calls to them long-distance.

However, some leading medical answering services have invested in extended local-number calling convenience across the United States. They can cover all fifty states and the phone numbers in 98 percent of the country. If your answering service isn’t local to you, check to see if they can offer you a local number to forward to. Many cannot, so it makes sense to select a provider that can.

Toll-Free Number Availability

What about the other 2 percent of the United States, are they out of luck? Not necessarily. Again, leading medical answering services have taken extraordinary steps to address this scenario as well.

If your practice happens to be in one of those areas not covered by your answering service’s local calling plan, they may have an alternate solution. A toll-free number. You can forward your office line to their toll-free number and completely avoid long-distance charges. And if they’re nice, the medical answering service will even provide this solution to you at no additional cost.


With today’s technology you can use an answering service anywhere in the United States. Just know that you will be subject to long-distance fees if your answering service isn’t within your local calling area. However, some of today’s leading medical answering services offer local-calling convenience in 98 percent of the country. For the other 2 percent, they offer toll-free numbers.

This means that wherever your practice is located, you can call forward your phone to one of these leading medical answering services and avoid long-distance charges. But not all medical answering services offer this, so be sure to ask.

Learn how medical answering service from MedConnectUSA can help your practice, clinic, or facility. Then get a free quote to discover how affordable their healthcare communication services are. Peter Lyle DeHaan is a freelance writer and call center authority.