Owe Medical Bills? Don’t Pay Promptly, Pay Late & Join The 50% Club

Members of the 50% Club subscribe to the Upside Down Economics of Health Care. They understand those who pay on time are screwing themselves and those that don’t are rewarded…………….

By Bill Rusteberg

If you owe a medical bill to a hospital, for example deductibles and co-insurance amounts or Reference Based Pricing balance bill amounts, is it better to pay your share prompt:ly or delay payment?

The answer: Take your time and don’t pay promptly. That will qualify you for membership in the 50% Club at many participating hospitals.

If you pay promptly, you will pay 100% of what they say you owe. However, if you wait for months, or until the second notice from a collection agency arrives, then that’s the time to take action. A simple phone call to the hospital (not the collection agency) could be rewarding.

The call will go something like this:

“Hello, I’m a member of the 50% Club and I am calling about my account. It seems I owe you $2,000”.

“Yes, and it’s well past due, would you like to make arrangements to pay today?”

“Yes, I can send you a check, or I can give you my Visa Card number if we can settle this for $1,000.”

“Just a minute while I put you on hold!” Then minutes later…..”My supervisor said that if you will give me your Visa Card number over the phone, we will settle this outstanding for half of what you owe!Great, here is my number………………….”

“Thanks, welcome to the 50% Club Sir!”

With accounts receivable at all time highs, hospitals make deals like this every day. So the moral here is, if you pay on time you’re penalized, but if you pay late you’re rewarded. This is upside down economics.

Editor’s Note: This article was posted on this blog in 2011. Since then membership in the 50% Club has soared. A competing club, the 0% Club, is positioned to outnumber 50% Club membership this year. (Everyone Is Paying For Mary’s Deductible Because Mary Isn’t).