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Sun, 03 Mar 2013
Important Haggling
# 07:35 in ./general

A week or so ago, I wrote about the terrible cost of health care in the US. An article on CNN describes a way some might be able to mitigate this by haggling.

The article is called Haggling for health care: Ways to lower your bills and describes how some people have managed to knock a lot of money off their bills :

"If you go in and ask a doctor or hospital how much something costs, they are going to tell you their highest price," Santa said. To negotiate a much lower price "you have to ask."

If you are uninsured or your insurance doesn't cover a procedure, ask if the medical provider would be willing to do it for the same price they would get reimbursed for from an insurance company or Medicare. That could knock about 30% to 40% off of the cost and most doctors and hospitals are open to doing that, he said.

Medical costs can be so high, anything that reduces them is important. Unlike some countries, people in the US and Europe generally don't haggle in shops or markets, and many probably feel uncomfotable doing it. I think this is probably a hang over from times past when people generally felt more a sense of community and trust. A trust that the price is fair and you are not being taken advantage of. Things are slightly different now. Perhaps people need to get used to "asking".

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