Hospitals charge the uninsured more
Many hospitals charge uninsured patients higher prices than they've negotiated with insurers for the same services, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Why it matters: These high cash prices often mean that uninsured patients — who are likely to be low-income — have little to no hope of being able to pay their hospital bills.
- These cash prices are also sometimes paid by insured patients who receive out-of-network care.
- The rates were made public only recently as a requirement of new federal price transparency regulations.
What they're saying: Hospitals "don't want to give away too much of a discount because they really want the best discounts to go to these larger volume negotiated insured rates," Will Fox, an actuary with Milliman, told WSJ.
- And while hospitals usually offer financial aid, these policies can vary widely and be poorly promoted, per the Journal.