Will The Uninsured Become Healthier Once They Receive Healthcare Coverage?

Conventional wisdom might tell you, The Affordable Care Act will save thousands of lives, as millions of uninsured persons* receive the coverage they lacked, and hence the care they need.

But although commentators make the assumption that the ACA will improve the health of the uninsured, the link between health insurance and health isn’t so clear.

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A Tragicomic Irony: Pretending To Be Uninsured Might Save Patients Money

Dark Daily, our favorite watchdog publication, posted price comparisons between insured and uninsured patients. The numbers vary state to state, but the overall trend is that insured/Medicare patients are on average being charged a third of what uninsured patients are. This is a polar shift from the 1950s, when the poor and uninsured were charged the LOWEST rates of any patient. But there was also an ironic finding, steep cash discounts are being offered to patients who can pay for a service upfront. “[It was] suggested that when hospitals offer such deep discounts for paying cash, patients with high deductibles may be better off withholding their insurance information and paying the cash price.” This reminds us of a great quote by Richard Feynman, who says, “The thing that doesn’t fit is the thing that’s most interesting.”

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Hospitals Generally Charge Self-pay Patients Top Price for Care, but Some Providers Now Offer Deep Discounts for Patients Who Pay with Cash” | Dark Daily