Posts tagged ‘bill’

How to Save 25% on Medical Bills

By Kaye Nemec | Contributor

If you’ve recently undergone some sort of medical procedure and are nervous about the number of digits when the bill arrives, relax. Medical bills aren’t necessarily black and white; some frugal patients have discovered a secret.

According to a recent New York Times article, most hospitals and doctor’s offices are willing to negotiate price if it means at least part of their bill actually gets paid. In a time when the economy isn’t exactly booming and some people can’t afford health care, more and more medical bills are left untouched. If you’re looking to steer clear of collection agencies and maintain your credit, you may be able to benefit from other people’s “dine & ditch” version of medical procedures.

So what’s the trick? Haggle.

Call your doctor, hospital, dentist etc. and ask them to give you a discount if you pay your entire bill immediately over the phone. Angie’s List recently performed a consumer survey about this topic and found that 74% of people received a discount on medical bills simply by asking for it.

If you’re the planning ahead type, check out the website HealthCareBlueBook.com before scheduling a medical procedure. They’ll give you an estimate of what some of the most common procedures should cost, that way you can shop around and see how much various providers are charging. Once you find the best deal, schedule the appointment, then call afterward to haggle your discount. Check out their section on How to Negotiate Healthcare Prices for even more tips on lowering your bill.

Even if you’ve never used the salesperson of the month parking spot, it’s easy to ask for a discount. The worst that can happen is: they say, “no”

Your request can be as simple as, “Hello. I have a labor and delivery bill from your hospital for $1,700.00 and I heard that if I pay it in full over the phone I can get a 25% discount. I’d like to go ahead and do that today.”

I’m wondering, could this also work at the vet? If you thought medical bills for humans were outrageous, try having a puppy and you’ll soon learn what astronomical looks like.

Broken Secrets

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Sources: NYT, CBSNews.com, Angie’s List, HealthCareBlueBook.com

Photo: Maxios (cc)

July 29, 2010 at 5:00 am 13 comments

State Health Care in Hawaii Since 1975

While the federal health care reform bill passed in the House of Representatives last night, Hawaii and Massachusetts have had state regulated health care since 1975 and 2006 respectively.

Whether you support government regulated health care or not, there is a good chance it will soon be an option for most Americans (the bill still has a number of steps before it is official). In the meantime, let’s have a look at the impact of health care reform on two other states.

Depending on where you get the numbers from, 85-89% of Americans have health insurance.

Before 1975, 70% of Hawaiians had health insurance, which made it the highest insured state at the time. On January 1, 1975 the Hawaii Prepaid Health Care Art was passed, bringing the state to 92% coverage.

In Massachusetts, the introduction of State health care raised the insurance rate to approx 94% of residents in 2006. The following year, it went up to 97%. In the next two years it dropped a point and Massachusetts now has the lowest number of uninsured residents at 4.1%.

The Hawaiian and Massachusetts systems are quite different from each other. One of the key differences is who pays for it.  In the Hawaiian system, employers are required to provided health insurance to employees who work more than 20 hours per week. (more…)

March 22, 2010 at 12:30 am Leave a comment


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