This article is sponsored by Freestate Healthcare, offering affordable healthcare to Wichita families.
Good healthcare is expensive. All that cutting-edge, high-tech innovation drives the price up. The most important question in America is who will pay for it: businesses (by reducing your salary) or the government (by raising your taxes)? You either have insurance, usually very expensive, or you don’t get healthcare because who can afford it?
But you already know this.
Healthcare Shouldn’t Be A Luxury
Healthcare is like food and clothes: everyone needs it. But whereas food and clothing are sold at prices almost everyone can afford, in America healthcare is a luxury item. Most healthcare prices are artificially inflated for reasons I don’t have the space to detail here, but most cannot be defended. However, even with our current healthcare system, there are real solutions that could lead to the formation of a better one. Many of these involve paying cash rather than using health insurance.
Why Pay Cash?
Paying with cash or credit card at the time of service (we will call this “cash pay” or “cash paying” below) is much cheaper and more flexible. Consider the following:
- Epinephrine was invented 121 years ago. It costs a few dollars per vial to make. But the life-saving EpiPen sells for almost $700. The generic version sells for about $350. If you get exposed to something you are severely allergic to and don’t have epinephrine, your choice is between quick death or going to your local hospital, which can bankrupt you. If you buy epinephrine with insurance you will get a discount off the huge list prices, but will still need to pay a monthly premium and often a co-pay. But if you cash pay for generic epinephrine for injection, the vial, plus the syringe and needle needed to inject will cost you at most $20.
- Need a CT Scan? Paying with insurance will probably cost you $1,000 or much more. But if you pay cash, you can get the same study for $100-200. MRI works the same way: a $5,000 charge with insurance but only $500 for cash.
- If you need an office visit with your doctor, it will probably cost at least $100, often much more. Why? It mostly centers around the fact that you are paying with insurance. This introduces enormous inefficiency and extra administrative cost that makes it impossible for your doctor to see enough patients a day to offer lower prices. A typical American primary doctor might be able to see 20-30 patients a day if they are working fast because so much of their time is occupied with insurance-related paperwork. In other countries a doctor can easily see 50 to 100 patients a day. Those countries usually have the same or better healthcare outcomes.
Cash paying opens things up, dramatically reduces office expenses, and enables doctors to charge much lower prices.
This is not the complete argument, and it does not outline how this kind of system could grow to offer everyone affordable care over time. For now the charts below can show you the types of discounts we are talking about.
Freestate Healthcare Offers an Affordable, High-Quality Option
If you would like to learn more about how your family can receive affordable healthcare without compromising quality, please contact us or visit our website.
4723 E Douglas Ave, Wichita, KS 67218
Dr. Elisha Yaghmai (pronounced “YAG-my”) is originally from the West Coast, but after living all over the country eventually moved to Kansas for the mountains and oceans. He went to college at Harvard, completed medical school at UT-Southwestern (UTSW), and did residency in Internal Medicine/Pediatrics at the University of Kansas-Wichita. He has a Masters of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, which is helpful for those that worry they may have gotten an exotic illness traveling overseas… or visiting the Superfund sites Texans mistakenly call “the beach.” Elisha logged a lot of time caring for critically ill people, but now works at FreeState seeing adults and children in clinic and the hospital. He also does rural work via telemedicine when not serving as personal assistant to his own young children or working on making FreeState better. He looks well-rested in this photo because Photoshop.