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View Diary: First Doctor Visit in Five Years: Why Repubs Want Us Broke or Dead (224 comments)

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  •  Difference between full rate and discount rate (8+ / 0-)

    Insurers negotiate with doctors, hospitals and labs on prices. This negotiation takes place before any of the care is given. It's the fees that they agree to when they contract with each other.

    So, for example, let's say they're negotiating on the price of lab work. The lab says, "Full price is $1000," naming some outlandishly high price, knowing they're going to negotiate down from it. And the insurer says, "We'll pay $1," naming a preposterously low price. And then they negotiate, and settle on some number in between.

    But the uninsured have to pay the "full price," the ridiculously high price that the providers only chose to start negotiations because they knew it was certain to be higher than what any insurer would possibly agree to.

    So in our system, uninsured people are guaranteed to be screwed. An individual can negotiate, too, but the providers don't have to knock down their price for an individual. They can if they want, if they feel sorry for the patient, but they don't have to.

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