I have believed for a long time that one of the major reasons our healthcare system has sunk so far is the public knows so little. They are fed endless misinformation and downright lies by politicians and our so-called journalists, while the public blames greedy insurance companies with 40% profit margins. The LA Times has dumped the latest pile of journalistic malpractice on us; So many problems with this piece of agenda propaganda, possibly the worst:
"For those patients who have insurance, getting the lower price would typically mean withholding that information from the hospital or clinic. Experts warn that doing so, however, means any payments don't apply to customers' annual insurance limits for out-of-pocket spending."
According to these "Experts" (and why are they never named?), if you pay a medical bill, you can not submit it to your insurance company. Apparently insurance companies don't have claim forms or mail boxes where members can submit claims.
As usual, hacks like Chad Terhune - who rush in to push a lie - miss the real story: the far bigger problem is people paying cash to get a discount, then submitting to insurance and getting deductible credit for more than they pay. If someone accepted the cash discount then billed their insurance, the insurance company would have no way to know the member paid a discounted rate and would process the deductible credit at the higher allowable. Not exactly the story Chad was trying to sell, is it?
We see this already in Rx: Member co-pay cards circumventing plan designs and allowing members to pay substantially less then their benefit plan calls for.
The error was pointed out to Chad, but don't expect the LA Times to actually correct an article. They don't like facts getting in the way of their agenda.