As you must already know, Team CHEAPIOSITY's motto is: EVERYTHING IS NEGOTIABLE, and medical bills are no exception. With more and more of us still uninsured, this remains a big issue to say the least. For those fortunate enough to be insured, when you receive your EOB (explanation of benefits) you see that your insurance company discounts all of your charges -- Doctor, Lab, Radiology, Hospital, etc.
As an example, a member of Team CHEAPIOSITY was recently hospitalized for 4 days. (He's mostly fine now; thank you for asking. Or at least he was until he saw the bill!) He entered through an Emergency Room visit billed at $770; after the insurance discount, the amount was reduced to $200! For his 4 day hospital stay, the bill was $37,200, and after the discount, it came to $16,000. (Just as an aside, this covered only the hospital stay - no surgery, no procedures, no nothing. That's some luxury hotel. And the food wasn't even that great.) The point is, even if you are uninsured, there is room to negotiate .....a whole lot of room!
Here are some websites to help:
1. The Access Project (http://www.accessproject.org/new/pages/index.php)
2. My Money website (http://www.mymoney.gov/index.html)
3. Healthcare Survival Guide (http://www.healthcaresurvivalguide.com/)
4. The Healthcare Blue Book is a guide to 'fair' medical pricing(http://healthcarebluebook.com/page_Default.aspx)
5. FairCare MD is a website listing doctors in your area who are willing to negotiate their fee (http://www.faircaremd.com/)