When shopping around for healthcare services it’s best for consumer-driven patients to evaluate all options. What many Americans don’t know is that sometimes more savings can be made by paying cash, rather than going through their insurance company. Over 17.5 Million people in the United States have high-deductible rate insurance plans, meaning they pay out of pocket for the majority of their medical procedures throughout the year. With a new wave of consumerism in the healthcare industry, patients are realizing that the cash price for a medical procedure can be significantly lower than the price of going through their insurance plan.
Imagine going into a clinic and being told your MRI would cost $1,100 before your deductible would kick in. Now, imagine going to that same clinic and offering to pay cash up front and being told your total would come to $800, that’s a $300 savings, so which would you prefer?
Many people might wonder: ‘Where is the benefit for the medical provider?” It is obvious where the benefit lies for the patient consumers, but why would a healthcare provider offer these significantly lower prices to consumers for simply paying out-of-pocket rather than going through their insurance provider? The reasoning is that by accepting self-pay payments, healthcare providers lose the risk of working with insurance companies who often try to haggle the price down or refuse to pay. By cutting out the middle-man, doctors avoid submitting the bill to a third party and can be assured the payment will come in full and be paid directly to them.
Now you might be thinking, “Why don’t more people don’t take advantage of this?” Well, many people think that since they are insured they are getting the lowest price. However, this is not always the case, which is why patients have to do their own research to find out prices. Healthcare providers will regularly offer discounted prices to those without insurance that will be paying cash.
Read More: Why It’s So Hard to Find Health Care Prices
Some patients think that paying for a procedure without going through their insurance is illegal, but there is nothing illegal about getting a medical procedure done without letting the insurance provider know. With the evolution of price transparency and the healthcare consumerism industry, more and more healthcare providers have started listing prices for services on their websites. These are called “sticker prices” and usually represent what you would be paying if you chose to pay cash. See some examples of self-pay sticker prices for medical procedures by searching on our website and comparing self-pay prices of the providers in our network.