From this WSJ article:

  • A guy buys a catastrophic health plan that pays up to a fixed amount for doctor and hospital bills based upon the diagnosis
  • He needs a hernia repair
  • He tries to use his insurance and they try to make him pay $20,000 up front for the procedure
  • He cancels the procedure and goes back to his doctor to regroup

And here’s the solution he and his doctor discovered:

Most people are unaware that if they don’t use insurance, they can negotiate upfront cash prices with hospitals and providers substantially below the “list” price. Doctors are happy to do this. We get paid promptly, without paying office staff to wade through the insurance-payment morass.

So we canceled the surgery and started the scheduling process all over again, this time classifying my patient as a “self-pay” (or uninsured) patient. I quoted him a reasonable upfront cash price, as did the anesthesiologist. We contacted a different hospital and they quoted him a reasonable upfront cash price for the outpatient surgical/nursing services. He underwent his operation the very next day, with a total bill of just a little over $3,000, including doctor and hospital fees. He ended up saving $17,000 by not using insurance.

This is exactly the kind of thing we do here at Sherpaa. Healthcare is so damn confusing and so stupid expensive. There are so many tricks and loopholes that the average person can’t understand nor be expected to know. Come to us first, and we, through our insider experience and knowledge of these tricks, will craft a plan that can save you the cost of my awesome 2010 Mini Cooper. 

This also works wonders for not only individuals like this gentleman, but also for self-insured companies.