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They Want It to Be Secret: How a Common Blood Test Can Cost $11 or Almost $1,000

April 30, 2019

In this article from The New York Times, Margot Sanger-Katz discusses how the lack of transparency in health care prices makes a very common test – a metabolic blood panel – can cost anywhere from $11 to $952 depending on where you go. She points out that because prices that insurance companies negotiate with providers are often well-kept secrets, patients who have deductibles can be stuck with a huge bill for something as simple as a blood test because they didn’t know what the price would be before getting it.

She goes on to mention that even if you bought a bottle of Heinz ketchup at the most expensive store in the world, it would likely be up to a 6 times markup, which is not nearly the markup that can occur in the health care industry. And, at least at the store you’d be able to see what the ketchup cost before you bought it, which is not always the case in the world of insurance-negotiated rates.

At Sidecar Health, we enable our members to bypass the secretive insurance rates and just pay the doctor directly using their Sidecar Health payment card. This way, our members can take advantage of discounts doctors offer to patients who pay cash at the time of service, and they’ll know exactly what their cost will be since they’re paying immediately instead of waiting for a mystery bill to arrive after the fact.

Read the full article from The New York Times

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