A Different Way

to look at Life, Health, Business and Politics

The Case for Cash – When Health Insurance Isn’t

Posted by Marietta chiropractor on February 23, 2007

Why in the world would you want to pay cash for health care instead of using your insurance?  Well, there are several reasons.  Let’s explore a few.

Probably the best reason for paying your doctor directly is lower insurance premiums.  These days, the trend is to go to the doctor (or the doc-in-a-box) for every little ailment or sniffle.  The justification for doing so is “I pay alot for my insurance.  I’m going to use it!”  In a backward sort of way, that might make sense.  And at the same time one person is using that logic, so are most other insured individuals and families.  Because insurance premiums are based on how much you use it, the more you (and everyone else) use you it, the higher your rates will eventually be.

Privacy.  Unknown to most Americans is an organization commonly referred to as the MIB.  No.  Not Will Smith and Tommie Lee Jones, the “Men In Black”.  But, the Medical Information Bureau.  At least 15 million Americans have files with the MIB that contains a variety of information ranging from prescription drugs you may have taken to different therapies you may have received.  Future insurers and employers could have access to this information just as they do with credit reports.  With estimates of erroneous credit reports as high as 40%, the potential for misuse or abuse of your medical history is very real.  This information is generally reported when an insurance claim is filed by your doctor’s office.

It can be cheaper.  It’s costly for the doctor’s office to file insurance.  Many have simply stopped offering the service in order to reduce their cost of doing business.  Instead of building practices around what insurance will cover, large numbers of practitioners from chiropractors to dentists, even medical doctors, are offering lower fees to patients that pay cash at the time of service or who prepay for their care.

Finally, better care.  By paying your doctor cash, you eliminate the temptation for doctors to offer “extras” just because your insurance will pay for it.  By paying cash, you make sure you get just what you need and nothing more.

To summarize, paying your doctor at the time of service or even prepaying for care will lower your insurance premiums, lower the cost of care, protect your privacy and ensure that you get the best care possible and only the care you need.  Ask you doctor about lower fees for paying cash or prepaid care plans.

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15 Responses to “The Case for Cash – When Health Insurance Isn’t”

  1. Tim,

    Wonderful article! I couldn’t agree more. It’s disappointing that so many politicians think more insurance is the answer. Actually, the opposite is true. Get rid of it all. Free market competition makes every other industry better and less expensive – let’s get it happening in “health care.”

    CLARK

  2. Tim — excellent case you’ve made! This is great information for all smart patients. I’m going to link to this article from my blog.

    Thanks for your wise words.

    Trisha Torrey
    EveryPatientsAdvocate.com
    DiagKNOWsis.org
    EPABlog.wordpress.com

  3. […] https://drtim.wordpress.com/2007/02/23/the-case-for-cash-when-health-insurance-isnt/ […]

  4. ED Med said

    Nice subject area that you have chosen.

  5. I would love to write and say what a excellent job you have on this.

  6. Jackson said

    I feel a lot more men and women will need to read this, incredibly excellent info.

  7. Terry Loher said

    Great article Tim. Starting to see more doctors in our area do the same thing.

  8. jeremiah said

    great article. Is there a legal issue with someone paying cash for an mri when they have insur. Are you obligated to file there insurance. I work in a out pt imaging center where we offer a cash option for people with high deductibles or no insurance at all. Someone told me we were obligated to file there insur if they have it. Is that true? thanks for the help,

    Jeremiah

    • drtim said

      Hey. Thanks for the comment. There is nothing preventing you from taking cash whether they have insurance or not. There’s also not a requirement to file for insurance even if they have it. They may want you to file. However, that is for YOU to decide. In fact, many doctors of every description are opting out of insurance plans and going all cash. Much less hassle and actually improves the relationship between you and your client.

      Thanks again for the question.

      • I would just like to add that one obligation that I can think of that mandates you filing insurance is if you are contracted with a particular carrier (e.g. Blue Cross, Blue Shield, etc.) and THEIR contract states that you must.

      • drtim said

        Great point, Doc. That’s one reason I never joined any networks and have even quit taking insurance altogether.

  9. ~,” I am really thankful to this topic because it really gives up to date information :;:

  10. “,: that seems to be a great topic, i really love it :,:

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