Under 1% of Patients Use This Trick to Save on Medical Bills

Even with a family health insurance plan for which we pay a steep premium each month, we know we’re only partially protected, CNBC reports.

That’s because, like increasing numbers of Americans, we have an even steeper annual deductible to cover before coverage kicks in, plus coinsurance and copays.

But there’s a pretty simple way to get a better deal, according to the article:

I found out what the MRI I needed would cost me at the hospital to which the cancer specialist referred me, and then I did some research, found cheaper alternatives and booked the scan at one of those instead.

It may sound straightforward — what’s more American than shopping around? — but almost no one does it, new research from the National Bureau of Economic Research finds: “Despite significant out-of-pocket cost exposure, patients often received care in high-priced locations when lower priced options were available. Fewer than 1 percent of individuals used a price transparency tool to search for the price of their services in advance of care.”

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