CR | The $mart Way to Pay [for Healthcare] by Cash | Consumer Reports
How Paying Your Doctor in Cash Could Save You Money
Even if you have health insurance, sometimes you are better off not using it
RELATED CONSUMER REPORTS (CR) STORY
A growing number of medical services, from MRIs to blood work to outpatient surgery, could cost you less—sometimes a lot less—if you pay the provider out of your own pocket and leave your insurer out of the picture. That this is possible seems contrary to what many of us have come to understand about how health insurance is supposed to work. We think using it always saves us money, partly because we assume our insurer negotiates the best rates for health services, and partly because we expect our insurer to pick up the tab for whatever cost remains, or at least much of it. In many cases, that is still true—but not always, especially for the growing number of people in high-deductible plans who must spend thousands of dollars on health services before insurance even starts to kick in to cover some of the cost.