There are a lot of people concerned about their healthcare costs in the U.S. I’m certainly one of them. My family gets hit unexpectedly like any other, and we have our own recurring medical bills to deal with. Since I realized a few years ago that I could save upwards of one to two thousand dollars a year in medical expenses, I’ve made a habit of reviewing my medical bills much more closely. This can take hours upon hours on the phone and researching of medical codes and jargon—far from a simple process.
But what can you end up saving by comparing costs? Multiple case studies have shown that the difference between the low and high price is often a factor of 5 to 15 times. For San Francisco (the first metro area we have significant data for) you can pay as little as $149 or up to $833 (cash rate) for an ultrasound during pregnancy. For those who don’t ask, or for whatever reason don’t get the uninsured or cash discount, the amount could go as high as $1,733. Several imaging and lab work procedures have a much greater disparity.
The problem is finding prices to compare. In California, hospitals are