I just ran across an article in Bottom Line/Personal by Sid Kirchheimer that’s chock full of tips on how to save on medical care. While it’s not available online, some of the tips are good enough that I thought I’d create a mini-series and run through them here. Here goes…
Tip #1: Negotiate — If you don’t have health insurance, as your doctor for a discount. Apparently only 13% of patients bother doing this but, when they do, the majority receive a discount. In fact, pretty much all insured patients automatically receive such discounts, as major insurers have negotiated ‘Usual, Customary, and Reasonable‘ (= reduced) prices for pretty much everything. We’ve never had to deal with this one since we’ve always had good health insurance. However, it definitely seems like it’s worth a try. The worst they can do is say no.
Tip #2: Get blood tests done at the lab — If you need blood work done, you’ll often end up paying for a doctor’s visit plus added (and inflated) fees for drawing the blood and running it to the lab. If your doctor won’t waive these fees, another option is to go directly to the lab to have the test done (your doctor should be able to supply the necessary paperwork). We’ve done this ourselves in the past, although in our case we didn’t have to ask — were referred directly to the lab by the doctor.
Stay tuned for more tips for saving on medical care.
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