(Digital News Report) – In the perfect world everyone would have full coverage health insurance in which everything is covered and you would have a copay of $10. Unfortunately, health insurance plans vary greatly on how much is covered and how much out of pocket the consumer pays before their policy will pay out. If you have to get treatments you might not have a chance to shop around, but in other cases you might want to shop around for the best costs. A website called healthcarebluebook.com offers an online look-up for estimates for health care costs for procedures, surgeries, lab tests, physicians, and hospital costs. This can be a valuable tool to not only find average medical costs, but can also help you in negotiating a more reasonable price so you can pay off medical bills in a timely manner.
If you don’t have any insurance you will find that hospitals could charge up to 5 times more than if you had insurance. Medical providers make agreements with insurance companies and Medicare to only charge a certain amount for a procedure, test, or treatment. This is why they get a discount and those that don’t have insurance they are free to charge what they want. The reasoning is that most uninsured folks won’t pay their medical bills and those that do are paying for those that don’t. Regardless of the reasoning, a smart consumer will negotiate a reasonable amount for the medical services provided. You should especially do this if you are facing a financial hardship because of the medical costs. You can look up the prices on healthcarebluebook.com to get approximate pricing. They may not be exactly on target for the going price, but they give you an idea were the costs should be.
If you are faced with medical expenses that you can’t afford, you can also ask the medical provider to allow you to make monthly payments each month for the amount that you can afford. This financing can offer the much needed help for medical bills. It is important once you make this agreement to make the agreed payments on time or you may lose the payment option and be sent over to a collections agency that might not be so willing to work with you.
If you pay for your labs, you should consider shopping around before you go to the doctor recommended location. Of course, if your condition is urgent you might not have the time to do this, and you wouldn’t be given this opportunity. But if you are going in for a check-up and you have a little time, shopping around for the best price can save you literally hundreds of dollars. If you get a blood test at a hospital run lab, it could cost hundreds of dollars, but if you go to a independent lab it could cost very little. It could be the other way around too. It all depends on the lab provider, the test, your insurance, and if they give cash discounts.
So next time you go to see your doctor, consider your options. Do your homework and you might be able to stretch your medical expenses a little bit further.
By: Victoria Brown