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Ask Dave

Negotiate For Lower Health Bill?

Health care is tough, but what do you do when you have a big surgery coming up and you don't want to go into debt.

QUESTION: Gary is considering hip replacement surgery, but it will cost about $40,000.  He’s debt free and wants to know how to avoid going back into debt to have this surgery.  What can he do?

ANSWER: You should sit down with the hospital administrator and surgeon and offer to prepay for the surgery.  Many times the hospital will knock half of the cost off of medical procedures if you’ll pay up front. 

The price they’re giving you is either from an insurance company or the hospital, both making the assumption they’re not going to get any money from you at all.  If you go in with cash beforehand, you can negotiate the health care you receive.