Advice on getting a cash price: Ask up front, and get it in writing

Summary: We’re often asked how to get a cash price. Here’s one suggestion, from John R. Graham at the National Center for Policy Analysis, a “free-market reform” think tank: “I, myself, went deeper at a hospital a few years ago, when I was scheduled for an operation. I called and asked for the cash price and received a quote by fax. When I subsequently received a bill after my health insurer had processed the claim, the amount the insurer paid the hospital was more than the cash price quoted to me; yet the hospital wanted still more! I sent that bill back, unpaid, along with the fax, explaining that the hospital had already received more from the insurer than it would have from me if I had paid cash. That was the last I heard of it.” John R. Graham, More Evidence Against Health Insurance,” Health Policy Blog, NCPA.org.