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How to Cut Your Health-Care Bill: Pay Cash

Home/Healthcare News/How to Cut Your Health-Care Bill: Pay Cash

How to Cut Your Health-Care Bill: Pay Cash

by Melinda Beck | Wall Street Journal | February 15, 2016

How to Cut Your Health-Care Bill: Pay Cash

Sovereign Solutions Editor’s Note:

The basics of the featured post are that you can save lots of money if you pay in cash for medical services.

Per usual there is a catch.

It depends upon your circumstances; there are some basic analyses to be had.

I hope, in addition to you perhaps finding new ground to tread in your healthcare payment forays, that you will question the value of healthcare “insurance” such as it is–it really is not even insurance after all!

I will you leave you with the two items, in quoted format, that I found most disturbing from the featured article:

  1. “Self-pay discounts, however, do present patients with a dilemma: Most insurers won’t count cash payments toward their deductibles. So savvy health-care shoppers have to guess whether they are likely to have a major medical expense during the year, or stay relatively healthy and thus save money by paying cash.”
  2. “Finding the negotiated rates for those same services is tougher, since many insurance contracts bar payers and providers from disclosing them.”

Isn’t it pretty obvious that with those two points alone we see a concerted effort to deny price discovery in the healthcare services market?

In addition, there very much is an effort to prevent individuals from at least being able to use their inefficient “insurance” product in the most useful and beneficial way possible. 

Thankfully, there are growing transparency trends. Please make use of them, as there is a whole lot of opportunity to save and save big.


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.

Rather than feel good about the savings, Ms. Surdoval got angry at her carrier, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona. “I’m paying $530 a month in premiums and I get charged more than someone who just walks in off the street?” says Ms. Surdoval, who divides her time between Boulder and Tucson. “I thought insurance companies negotiated good deals for us. Now things are totally upside down.”

Deep discounts

Not long ago, hospitals routinely charged uninsured patients their highest rates, far more than insured patients paid for the same services. Now, in the Alice-in-Wonderland world of health-care prices, the opposite is often true: Patients who pay up front in cash often get better deals than their insurance plans have negotiated for them.

That is partly due to new state and federal rules aimed at protecting uninsured patients from price gouging. (Under the Affordable Care Act, for example, tax-exempt hospitals can’t charge financially strapped patients much more than Medicare pays.) Many hospitals also offer discounts if patients pay in cash on the day of service, because it saves administrative work and collection hassles. Cash prices are officially aimed at the uninsured, but people with coverage aren’t legally required to use it.

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Do you have any objections, thoughts, concerns, or contributions? I REALLY WANT TO KNOW. Help me to make this a conversation!

Together we can map out better solutions and truly navigate clearer paths towards quality services, low prices, and better lives.

Oh! And as always, if you find this post useful, do me and so many others a huge favor. When it comes to this kind of information: share and share alike! Information is meant to be disseminated wide and far.

Sovereign Liberty Solutions

Your Home for Liberty Bias in News, Opinion, & Solutions
By | 2017-03-27T22:09:35-04:00 February 20th, 2016|Categories: Healthcare News|Tags: , , |0 Comments

About the Author:

My name is Matthew. I am founder of and manage Sovereign Liberty Solutions. I am a proponent of free, voluntary association and expression. I understand that there is no single exception or excuse to violate this with the initiation of force, fraud, and coercion. I welcome a genuine dialogue & seek information, news, analysis, and, of course, solutions, whether it be on the individual level or a more voluntary association [group] or even "national" one.

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