Cash Pay Health Plans Enjoy Explosive Growth

“Employers who are leveraging these cash pay strategies are saving so much money that they can offer healthcare benefits at no cost to the employee, no employee premiums and no out-of-pocket expenses like copays and deductibles.

“I downloaded the chargemaster of one of the large hospitals in my area and found one particular procedure’s gross charges price to be roughly $326,000. The average payer-specific negotiated price was around $227,000 and the discounted cash price was just over $81,000. If I’m admitted to that hospital for that procedure and present my employer-provided insurance card, the average price is discounted by 30%. On the other hand, if my employer pays up front through a cash pay strategy, the discount is 75%. By studying the hospital’s chargemaster across all procedures, I found this same level of discount applied to almost all procedures.”

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