You can talk down the price of a car or house, but can you haggle over medical bills?
Experts say it’s possible to negotiate medical bills and some are finding success doing it, according to CNN Money.
After being in the hospital for four days for kidney failure, Shane Fischer received a $3,000 hospital bill, which he dodged for two months. Finally, he decided to haggle the price down.
“I asked a collection agent from the hospital if she could give me a discount for paying in full and she offered me a 50 percent reduction if I paid it over the phone," Fischer told CNN. "So, I gave her my credit card and saved $1,500."
In 2010, 38 million Americans had a health care plan with a $1,000 deductible for individuals and $2,000 for families, which is almost double the amount six years ago, according to CNN.
John Santa, director of the Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center, offered suggestions in the CNN article on how to talk down your medical bills.
"If you go in and ask a doctor or hospital how much something costs, they are going to tell you their highest price," Santa told CNN. To negotiate a much lower price "you have to ask."
Santa also said that if an insurance company doesn’t cover a procedure, or if the person is uninsured, consumers should ask if the medical provider would be willing to do it for the same price that an insurance company or Medicare would pay.
Haggling isn’t just for cars, houses and medical bills.
Cameron Hill, a sophomore studying business strategy at Brigham Young University, haggles for everything from food to jewelry.
"People don't look at saving money like making money," Hill told the Deseret News in an interview. "If you can save a couple hundred dollars doing things, that is a killer rate of return. And people just don't seem to think about saving money as much as making it."
Consumers should realize they have the power of the purse and can decide to purchase from a different vendor, Herb Cohen, a world-renowned negotiation expert, said in an interview with the Deseret News.
"Money talks and money walks," Cohen said. "The only thing it doesn't say is when and if it is coming back. Every seller knows this and they feel the pressure when a prospective buyer walks into their establishment."
EMAIL: [email protected]