Enough to Make You Sick
Hospitals and doctors’ offices are notorious for confusing costs, with fees that can soar as a result of unexpected or inexplicable charges, insurance loopholes, and consultation fees. It’s the kind of thing that bewilders citizens of most other countries, where single-payer health care prevents what The New York Times wrote about in an August exposé: “Hospitals are charging patients wildly different amounts for the same basic services,” and major health insurers often negotiate “surprisingly unfavorable rates for their customers. In many cases, insured patients are getting prices that are higher than they would if they pretended to have no coverage at all.” These horror stories, from Kaiser Health News unless otherwise identified, will remind you that the next time you get a $1,000 bill from your doctor, at least your statement doesn’t have another zero at the end — or two.
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