Why Paying Cash For Hospital Bills Is Five Times Cheaper Than Your Government Mandates Obamacare Insurance

Hospital bills
Source: NaturalNews.com
Jonathan Benson
June 23, 2016

Shellshocked by those astronomical Obamacare premiums? You might want to consider just ditching the failed health insurance “tax” altogether and paying cash for medical services on an as-needed basis because, truth be told, you’ll end up shelling out far less money in the long run.

This was the recent experience of a California woman named Caroline who, after receiving a hefty bill for a few simple blood tests, petitioned the hospital where the blood was drawn for answers. What she came to learn is that there’s essentially two pricing tiers for medical services: the insurance rate and the cash rate.

Accustomed to just having her medical treatments billed to her insurance carrier, Blue Shield of California, Caroline was shocked to learn that the $269.42 she was responsible for paying out of pocket for the five blood tests she received — this out of $408 total, the rest of which was covered by her insurance — was nearly four times higher than the total cost would have been if she had just paid in cash, insurance aside.

So instead of the blood tests costing about $80 each at the insurance rate, they would have cost only about $15 dollars each, or about one-fifth the cost, at the cash rate — a substantial savings.

“I was completely surprised,” she told the Los Angeles Times. “The woman I spoke with in billing said that if I’d paid cash, the prices would have been much lower.”

Cash rate closer to what healthcare would actually cost if insurance didn’t exist

This is especially true for common procedures like blood tests and imaging scans that are now widely available at a variety of medical clinics — everything from large hospitals to local clinics, and in some cases even pharmacies and drop-in “minute” clinics.

You can think of it as the “uninsured” rate, or the amount that such services would actually cost in the real world if we didn’t have complex insurance pools, government-subsidized coverage plans, and other inherently wasteful programs that breed price-gouging.

And Obamacare is only making matters worse by spiking many people’s monthly premiums so dramatically that they’re essentially being forced to seek out the lower cash rate. Some people are even ditching their plans entirely and just paying out of pocket rather than try to reach their ever-escalating deductible thresholds — it’s actually cheaper not to use one’s government-mandated health insurance, in many cases!

“This is one of the dirty little secrets of healthcare,” Gerald Kominski, director of the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, explained to the Los Angeles Times. “If your insurance has a high deductible, you should always ask for the cash price.”

True free-market healthcare: the answer to outrageous pricing schemes

The rationale seems to be that if an insurance company or the government is footing all or most of the bill anyway, then hospitals can charge whatever it wants for medical services. All of this gets thrown on its head, though, when real-life people are having to cover these costs directly.

“This just shows how screwed up the whole pricing system is,” Glenn Melnick, a health economist at the University of Southern California (USC), added, making the case for a true, free-market healthcare system. “It absolutely makes sense to shop around for healthcare like you shop for everything else.”

In an ideal world, insurance companies would negotiate with hospitals and medical providers to get the best possible rates for policyholders. But so much has changed in recent years, especially with the government getting more involved in controlling the destiny of healthcare, that the gap between what medical services actually cost versus what patients are being asked to pay has only widened.

“Insurers aren’t getting the best prices anymore,” says Melnick. “Hospitals often charge whatever they want and have tremendous power over insurance plans.”

Read More At: NaturalNews.com

Affordable Care Act Not So Affordable: Texas’ Largest Insurance Provider To Hike Rates 60% In 2017

Health care costs
Source: NaturalNews.com
Daniel Barker
June 14, 2016

Contrary to all the promises, the increasingly exorbitant cost of health insurance under Obamacare is beginning to be revealed as Blue Cross Blue Shield prepares to implement a 60 percent rate hike for individual policies in its Texas market.

The increases will affect more than half a million Texans who are now enrolled in Blue Cross Blue Shield – if approved, the new rates will go into effect in 2017.

From The Dallas Morning News:

“Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas has about 603,000 individual policyholders and, unlike other insurers in the state, offers coverage in every county. In a recent filing with federal regulators, the company said it is seeking increases averaging from 57.3 percent to 59.4 percent across its individual market plans.

“In a statement, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas said its request is based on strong financial principles, science and data. ‘It’s also important to understand the magnitude of the losses … experienced in the individual retail market over the past two years,’ the statement said. The company says it lost $592 million last year and $416 million in 2014.”

Among the worst affected in Texas will be those who live in rural areas where Blue Cross Blue Shield is the only coverage available.

Texas is not alone

Texas, the third-biggest market under the Affordable Care Act after Florida and California, is not the only state that will see significant rate hike increases in 2017, suggesting that the ACA is not so affordable, after all:

“With data available for about half the states, premium increases appear to be sharper, but there are also huge differences between states and among insurers. Health insurance is priced locally.

“A recent analysis of nine states by the consulting firm Avalere Health found that average premium increases for the most popular kind of plan ranged from 5 percent in Washington state to 44 percent in Vermont.”

The rate increases throughout the country are in response to huge financial losses for insurers that have been caused by low enrollment, higher-than-expected cost of medical care for many patients and “problems with the government’s financial backstop for insurance markets.”

Some policyholders are eligible for government subsidies that typically cover more than 70 percent of premiums, but many people are ineligible of such protection, including “small business owners, self-employed people and early retirees.”

For many, dropping coverage will be the only option

There is a real concern that many people will simply be forced to drop their coverage, even at the risk of paying fines.

From TheDailySheeple.com:

“In a country where the cost of living is going up on virtually all fronts but wages and jobs are not increasing, exactly who is going to be able to afford this insane rate hike? And that’s just to pay for the insurance in case you get sick…”

“Affordable health care for all” was a lie – Obamacare has accomplished precisely the opposite and the evidence of this continues to mount as Texas and other states witness skyrocketing premium costs.

Mike Adams, founder/editor of Natural News and author of the new book “Food Forensics” said:

“As this is happening, your employer will either go out of business trying to cover your skyrocketing health care costs, or — more likely — slash your hours to make you a part-time employee with no health insurance coverage. You’ll then need a second job to make up the lost income from the first job, and you still won’t have health coverage because you’re part time at the second job, too. So you’ll need a third job just to raise enough money to pay for a crappy health care plan with a $20,000 deductible. But you don’t have $20,000, so if something serious happens to you, you’re basically bankrupt, jobless and ultimately homeless.”

Thanks, Obama…

Read More At: NaturalNews.com