Summary: People are finding that they can sometimes save money — often a lot! — by paying cash for health care rather than paying the insured rate. Others are noticing too: we were quoted as experts in The Wall Street Journal when Melinda Beck wrote about this recently. Here’s the beginning of her piece: “As consumers get savvier about shopping for health care, some are finding a curious trend: More hospitals, imaging centers, outpatient surgery centers and pharmacy chains will give them deep discounts if they pay cash instead of using insurance. When Nancy Surdoval, a retired lawyer, needed a knee X-ray last year, Boulder Community Hospital in Colorado said it would cost her $600, out of pocket, using her high-deductible insurance, or just $70 if she paid cash upfront. When she needed an MRI to investigate further, she was offered a similar choice—she could pay $1,100, out of pocket, using her insurance, or $600 if she self-paid in cash.” For Beck’s full story, click here: “How to Cut Your Health-Care Bill: Pay Cash,” and for a related article, also by Beck and quoting us as experts, click here: “How to Shop Around and Save on Health Care.” Also, one of my blog posts on this topic from 2014 is here: “Saving money: Paying cash for health care even if you’re insured.” Here’s another blog post from me about the same topic. (Update: Here’s a recent piece from KevinMD about the topic.)
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