Saving on medical care

GunnerQ wrote a post on up-front pricing in medicine.  I have found everything he says to be true.  Even when I have asked for prices for various procedures, medical providers don’t know.  The bill you receive for service (the price) reflects some average of all the people who pay and don’t pay for the same services and your demographic data which gives the likelihood you WILL pay for the bill you’re receiving.  If you’re a married white man with a house, you’ll get a larger bill than the illegal immigrant from Mexico who claims he has no money despite all the welfare he gets from the state and the huge brand-new truck in the driveway of the house he shares with 10-20 other people.  Medical prices are thus produced by a hospital computer algorithm rather than posted like every other service in every other business.   Expect hospitals to fight price transparency tooth-and-nail.

Happily, there are several strategies to protect yourself from medical provider theft.

Strategy 1: Insurance

You can get the same benefits as health insurance (risk-pooling, contractual pricing for services) using Liberty Health Shares if you are a Christian.  My friend uses this service and loves it and claims it’s very cheap.  Regular health insurance companies are run for their executives and shareholders and executives get paid largely in company shares.  Health insurance companies are not your friends but a necessary evil.  They may be an unnecessary evil depending on their premiums and deductibles which are now in the realm of outrageous.

Strategy 2: Fight the bill

Check our Broken Health Care.  The initial bill you receive from a hospital is for people dumb-enough to pay it.  Never pay sticker price.

Strategy 3: Stiff ’em!

I’ve done this when the first 2 strategies failed or haven’t worked well-enough.  Moralizers will tell you this is the WRONG THING TO DO since it involves NOT PAYING WHAT YOU OWE.  However, the hospital is not charging you what you owe, but what you and Jose from south of the border owes.  This is especially true for OB/GYN care which is why it’s outrageously expensive to have a baby: you’re also paying for Jose’s anchor baby.  This is analogous to taking your car in for repairs and being expected to pay for someone-else’s car repair and yours.  It’s absurd to suggest it’s unethical to pay only what you owe.

I’ve called hospital billing departments, told them I was going to pay what I thought the service was worth (usually 30-50% of the bill), and that they could send the rest to collections as I’d rather negotiate with a debt collector than them.  Laws were recently changed to prevent medical bills from damaging your credit as much as it did in the past.  Debt collectors buy debt from hospitals at 5 to 10 cents on the dollar, so if you offer them 15-20% of what you originally owed, they made 50% profit.  This strategy can be riskier depending on the size of the bill since hospitals will probably sue you if you don’t pay a large bill.  Still, it costs them to sue you and most lawsuits are settled before going to trial.  The last thing a hospital wants is their billing exposed to a jury.

One final note.  The Left is pushing for national, single-payer health care.  They can push all they want but this idea didn’t even make it to a vote in the California legislature last year.  We’re already spending close to a trillion in Medicare to cover 60 million people in the US.  Try scaling that up to 330 million people and you can quickly see that we’d have to somehow treble tax revenues as our federal budget is $4 trillion.  Medicare and Medicaid account for about 25% of our national budget.  Cutting defense spending to zero still wouldn’t enable us to come close to paying for a single-payer system.  You’re on your own!  This is becoming more true in the twilight of the United States and even the post-Westphalian nation-state system.  You’re going to have to stick up for yourself.  Start with resisting lesser injustices such as medical bills and it becomes easier to resist greater ones.

4 Replies to “Saving on medical care”

    1. It should work automatically when you link to another site running wordpress, unless that site has disabled pingbacks. If the site isn’t running wordpress, you have to send trackbacks.

  1. This is an outstanding article and very true. Health care costs in America have to factor in the cost of illegal alien healthcare.

    Do you have any idea how many illegals cross border while sick to get “Free” health care? Millions, be sure of it, I worked 6 years in legal field as Paralegal and have seen this first hand.

    Heart surgery is one of the top reasons to come to USA for “health care illegal entry” scams, right after anchor baby birth.

    The average illegal gets an average of $52,000 per year “anchor baby” wlefare package. Waltz into the country, pop a kid, and instantly qualify for more than $50,000 in welfare a year, including American subsidized Obamacare for WHOLE FAMILY, (including illegal foreign kids they brought with them), Section 8 housing, WIC, EIC (Earned Income Credit – not pay any Fed income taxes and get cash back per child you have in US), “free” medical care for illegal mom + baby, lifetime medical care for illegal child via “emergency Medicaid”, Food Stamps (EBT) and much more.

    Then these illegals work housekeeping, construction, or landscaping and get paid cash and pay zero taxes. These illegal pull tens of thousands per year in “non-taxable income” a year in “under the table” income and welfare benefits combined and pay ZERO federal taxes.

    Who do you think they will vote for if legalized? :roll” *roll eyes* This is a no brainer. An amnesty is not only the death of the American healthcare system, but also the death of America itself.

    1. Yeah, when you factor in all of the handouts they receive, they’re making well-above the poverty limit in CA. Behind me is a house full of them and their driveway contains close to 10 brand-new cars with rims.

      Our government is de-legitimizing itself by failing to do anything about this. Really, the problem is us. Business owners want them here, especially developers and agribusiness. I remember Dana Rohrabacher talking on the radio 15 years ago about how we really needed to “be careful” about taking too much action regarding illegal immigration because they pick our crops or something. His re-election was stolen by ballot harvesting enabled by CA becoming a one-party state. Too bad he didn’t care about the demographic changes brought-on by his failure to act on immigration.

      The dingbat old lady next door was terrified that Trump was elected because her landscaper would get deported. She has no thought or care about all the problems illegals cause for anyone else.

      Happily, we’re going bankrupt as a nation. These gravy trains always run-out.

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