Paying for Surgery Without Insurance: 5 Surgical Cost Negotiation Tips

Many people don’t know how to navigate around the tricky arrangement of cost negotiation, especially when it comes to expensive surgeries. Well, if you need a surgery that can save your life, it is time to start practicing your haggling skills now. Indeed, it may seem strange to haggle on such a delicate matter, but if you don’t have health insurance, it may be a difference between life and death. Luckily, the medical industry isn’t a fixed cost industry – some doctors and hospitals bill patients differently, which leaves you plenty of room to negotiate. Here are five surgical cost negotiation tips.

  1. Bring the cash and pay upfront. Cash is king in most industries. Cash is also king when it comes to heart or brain surgery. Many hospitals worry that people won’t be able to pay their bills, so they come up with payment arrangements that can be exorbitant in the long run. However, by bringing cash, you can take the upper hand when it comes to the negotiating process. With cash on hand, you will be able to bring a healthcare provider closer and closer to terms that are reasonable for you.

  2. Put on a smile when you speak to the billing department of a certain surgical treatment center. There is nothing like putting on a big smile and being nice when it comes to getting what you want in life – or least when it comes to getting someone to make compromises. So, when you speak to the billing department, be sure not to get frustrated or rude – no matter how rude they are to you. You can easily melt their hearts by being patient and making jokes. If you show them a good time – they will most likely reward you with a discount of some kind.

  3. Opt for lower cost surgeries. These days, there are state-of-the-art procedures that cost an arm and a leg, but medical science has also gone the other way and has made some of the procedures a lot simpler and a lot more affordable. For instance, if you are getting a hip replacement surgery, you want to ask your doctor about the anterior approach. An¬†anterior approach hip replacement¬†procedure doesn’t require as much invasive surgery, so not only is the surgery more affordable – the recovery time is much shorter and much less painful.

  4. Ask to be put on a payment plan that you can handle. You may be paying off your medical bills for a long time to come – around a few years – but if you are on a payment plan, it will be a lot more management. Most of the time, we default on our medical bills because we can’t them afford it all at once.

  5. Shop around. The last thing you want is to show up for surgery at the most expensive hospital in town. Ideally, you want to visit a few different hospitals and go with the lowest rate. You can also ask hospitals to compete against other hospitals that have given you a better deal. In the end, you want to go with the hospital that offers both the best treatment at the best price.