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Many hospitals, doctors offer cash discount for medical bills

Los Angeles Times, May 29, 2012

A Long Beach hospital charged Jo Ann Snyder $6,707 for a CT scan of her abdomen and pelvis after colon surgery. But because she had health insurance with Blue Shield of California, her share was much less: $2,336. Then Snyder tripped across one of the little-known secrets of healthcare: If she hadn't used her insurance, her bill would have been even lower, just $1,054. Unknown to most consumers, many hospitals and physicians offer steep discounts for cash-paying patients regardless of income. But there's a catch: Typically you can get the lowest price only if you don't use your health insurance.