• Ronnie Shalev, MD

Paying with cash could save you money!

Did you know that you can save money on healthcare by paying cash and not using your health insurance?

Most people don’t know that they can shop around for diagnostic imaging studies, like X-rays, Ultrasounds, MRIs, and CT scans. Most facilities don’t publish their cash rates, but will quote their cash rates if asked. The cash rate of a test may be lower than the insurance price of the same test!

I have been quoted a cash price of $450 for an MRI, while the insurance cost of the same MRI is $1000. For a patient who hasn’t met their deductible or doesn’t plan to, this is is a significant difference!

Comparing prices for healthcare matters greatly because at the end of the day, it's the patient that can be left with an enormous bill! Because there is no price transparency in healthcare, no one knows how much things cost until after their treatment is complete. This can be very frustrating and for the average person who wants to get an idea of pricing ahead of time, can be very time consuming, especially if the patient wants to call a bunch of places to get pricing.

MediBookr can help! We have already done the research and can provide much needed price transparency, especially for cash rates. MediBookr is an amazing tool for comparing healthcare prices because it matters!

Our services aren’t limited to imaging studies. Did you know you could negotiate the price of a surgery or a colonoscopy? Yes, healthcare pricing can be negotiated. People have negotiated maternity care, surgeries, and even ER visits. You could save money by negotiating and paying cash compared to what you would pay if went through your insurance. The key is to do it before getting the treatment or procedure.

MediBookr can help you negotiate a bundled price for a procedure, treatment, or diagnostic test. A bundled price is a one-time payment that includes the facility fee, the physician fee, laboratory tests, and the anesthesia fee. These negotiated bundle payments can save you thousands of dollars on procedures and surgeries.

Paying cash for prescriptions can also save you money!

A recent study found the copayment amount for a prescription is higher than the retail price in 25% of prescriptions filled. For example, if your doctor prescribes you Metformin for your diabetes, your copay for a 30-day prescription might be $10. However, if you paid cash (and choose not to use your health insurance), then the cash price for a 30-day prescription is $4 at Walmart. By using your insurance, you are overpaying $6. A study from the USC Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics found that when copays are higher, insured patients are being overcharged on average $7.69!

MediBookr can also help with transparency for prescription pricing. We help you compare prescription pricing so that you know how much your prescriptions will cost before you buy them!

Three more ways to get cheaper medication:

  1. Ask your pharmacist if you are paying the lowest price

  2. Let your doctor know that you are price sensitive. Many times your doctor can prescribe a generic or different medication that will work just as well.

  3. Check websites that offer free coupons such as refillwise.com, goodrx.com, needymeds.org, blinkhealth.com. Even if the coupon is not for the pharmacy you go to, ask your pharmacist if they will match the price.

In conclusion, you can ALWAYS find a way to save money, especially by using MediBookr!

-Dr. Ronnie Shalev is a board certified Emergency Medicine Physician and is the Chief Medical Officer of MediBookr