Healthcare is big business, and you are the resource to be exploited. A milch cow in what looks to be a corral, but in reality has an open exit gate. You just have to glance up and walk out.
Have a high deductible health plan like I do? Then you pay the first $7000 or so every year before the plan pays out anything, excepting a very limited set of preventive care.
And while you can set up an HSA (Health Savings Account) with pre-tax dollars, those are still dollars you have to earn—they are not free.
What if you could spend just 1/3 to 1/7 as much? Pennis on the dollar. Maybe even at the same lab? You can.
Healthcare mafia prices vs cash on the barrelhead
This pricing differential is why healthcare is so broken in America. A simple law could fix all this: “all healthcare providers must reimburse as in-network the costs incurred regardless of provider up to the amount that would be reimbursed for an in-network provider”—a lowest available pricing rule, like Medicare uses. But politicians are seemingly in on the game via campaign donations—follow the money. Doctors are lax in not pointing this out to their patients also. Yeah, I know they are busy, but shame on them all, because financial stress *is* a healthcare issue for many of us.
Below, I analyzed what I paid for a set of lab tests done a few weeks ago at my in-network health provider. I went through each and every test on my itemized bill.
If I go to my in-network provider, I pay 3X the price.
And that savings does not even include a doctor visit to order the tests (worthless to me at least). And while I am prepared to understand my own lab tests, you might not be. But you can take the results to your doctor and save a crapload of additional money by making one visit instead of two*. All you then should need is a medical virtual doctor AI to analyze it—not there yet but coming soon, I hope.
While the direct-testing route is out-of-network for deductible purposes, the tests could be done three times for the same cost. Weigh the costs over the year, but at least for me, I’d rather spend $163 than $470.
It is time for change in the healthcare-industrial complex, and this area is ripe for fixing.
* The latest healthcare rip-off among health care organizations is making you come in for a visit, and then ordering tests, then making you come in for another visit. Before, you got the tests and then the visit. Don’t be a milch cow!
OwnYourOwnLabs.com and similar services
Multiple services out there can do the tests, but check out OwnYourOwnLabs.com first, since they list their competitors for you right on the web site.
OwnYourOwnLabs does not have the lowest price on every test vs similar services, some are a little higher and some a little lower. And all are massively lower than my in-network provider,
The OwnYourOwnLabs shopping cart experience is simple, fast, convenient. You don’t need a doctor’s order. And you can get another 10% off for agreeing to anonymized data collection*.
* Anonymized data collection isn’t a thing—de-anonimization is common if an entity wants to do it, like the government, or researchers, etc.
See also: Hammer Nutrition: LABORATORY TESTING