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Doctor discounts for the asking

Los Angeles Times, August 2, 2010

Looking to save money on healthcare? Consider asking your doctor for a discount. That's what Shelly Gordon of Palo Alto did. Gordon, who has a Blue Cross health plan with a $5,000 deductible and a $500 monthly premium, buys her own insurance since losing a job and starting her own public relations and communications firm. When she had her annual checkup, she learned that it came with a $350 price tag. Gordon explained to the doctor that her insurance would not pick up any of the expense because she had not yet met her deductible and that the payment would be a financial struggle for her. So the doctor removed a few routine tests from the bill, saving Gordon about $125.