A friend of mine, Dr. Richard Reece, just wrote a very helpful post with nuggets like this:
- investigate a company called Simplecare. The SimpleCare story has appeared is on the cover of US News & World Report, in Forbes, and on NBC News. SimpleCare, a fee-for-service organization, accepts money for medical treatment without insurance forms, co-payments, and other third-party payment related procedures. SimpleCare guides the patient to an alliance of doctors offering cash discounts. It has membership at 38,000 patient members working with 1,500 doctors nationwide. Discounts range from 15 percent to 50 percent for patients paying in cash.
- Ask your doctor if he or she accepts cash only. About 10 percent of doctors will accept cash only. The idea is to pay for care at the time and point of care with cash, check, or credit card without the expense or trouble of going through an insurance company. Dealing with third parties creates a 50 percent to 60 percent overhead, and many doctors are finding they can charge less and make just as much or more money without going through a third party. Often the doctor’s fee is negotiable.
- Fill your prescriptions at Walmart, Target, or discount stores. Walmart has more than 300 generic drugs and 1000 over-the-counter it sells at $4 for a 30 day supply and $10 for a 90 day supply. Fifty percent of Americans live within 5 miles of a Walmart or Target.