Updated: Mar 3
This week’s personal finance tip is about shopping for your medical procedures.
As most people know, the cost for health insurance can be expensive even if you have an employer that picks up some of the cost.
When you take in account that medical insurance via ObamaCare is often more expensive than employer based coverage, it can be even more daunting.
So there is one thing that you can do. When it comes to office visits, prescriptions consider talking to the doctors and let them know that you have no insurance.
When it comes to medical procedures and surgeries, shopping for these costs can really pay off and I have experience with this.
When it comes to your consultations with your doctor ask him or her if they perform their work at more than one location.
In addition, determine all of the items that you will be billed for such as the length of the procedure or operating time, the cost for the anesthesiologist and any components that may be a permanent fixture in your body.
People have had items such as sponges, bandages, scalpels, scissors, drain tips, needles, clamps, forceps and so on.
Next, obtain the diagnostic codes for all of these items which will arm you with the information to determine your true cost or close to it. This way if your doctor works out of more than one facility you can measure what your total bill may be on the budget. Now if your doctor only performs the upcoming work in one place, you are now armed with information that you can use to shop with another doctor.
Now to go one step further, if you do have health insurance usually there are write-downs or contractual adjustments which will reduce the cost. In addition, as we said earlier, if you have little-to-no insurance this doctor may also consider giving you the same cost adjustment as an insured patient.
In my case, I had a surgery that was estimated to cost of $10,000 and after my research was complete, I switched to a new medical facility and saved $9,000.
Furthermore, when I received my medical bill, the insurance reduced my cost by $666 leaving me with a total out of pocket cost of $334. Now that’s not too shabby on the budget.
Now in truth, the United States healthcare system needs a lot of adjusting and we understand that what we’ve outlined here is only one measure against the establishment; however, anything that you can do will only help your cause.
One thing is for sure . . . if you don’t communicate your needs to the medical community, more than likely you will pay full price.
If you’d like a deeper analysis on this subject listen to Podcast #16, Shopping for Your Surgeries Saves Money.
So that will do it for the personal finance tip of the week.