Article Image

IPFS News Link • Healthcare Industry

Why paying cash for hospital bills is five times cheaper than your government...


(NaturalNews) Shellshocked by those astronomical Obamacare premiums? You might want to consider just ditching the failed health insurance "tax" altogether and paying cash for medical services on an as-needed basis because, truth be told, you'll end up shelling out far less money in the long run.

This was the recent experience of a California woman named Caroline who, after receiving a hefty bill for a few simple blood tests, petitioned the hospital where the blood was drawn for answers. What she came to learn is that there's essentially two pricing tiers for medical services: the insurance rate and the cash rate.

Accustomed to just having her medical treatments billed to her insurance carrier, Blue Shield of California, Caroline was shocked to learn that the $269.42 she was responsible for paying out of pocket for the five blood tests she received -- this out of $408 total, the rest of which was covered by her insurance -- was nearly four times higher than the total cost would have been if she had just paid in cash, insurance aside.

So instead of the blood tests costing about $80 each at the insurance rate, they would have cost only about $15 dollars each, or about one-fifth the cost, at the cash rate -- a substantial savings.

"I was completely surprised," she told the Los Angeles Times. "The woman I spoke with in billing said that if I'd paid cash, the prices would have been much lower."

Cash rate closer to what healthcare would actually cost if insurance didn't exist

This is especially true for common procedures like blood tests and imaging scans that are now widely available at a variety of medical clinics -- everything from large hospitals to local clinics, and in some cases even pharmacies and drop-in "minute" clinics.

You can think of it as the "uninsured" rate, or the amount that such services would actually cost in the real world if we didn't have complex insurance pools, government-subsidized coverage plans, and other inherently wasteful programs that breed price-gouging.