Tips to Save Money on Hospital Bills

The following Everyday Savings Tip comes from, Sarah:

Many employers are now offering high deductible health plans with or without a health savings account attached. You are lucky if you are still offered an HMO plan! This can result in large patient responsibilities for hospital bills.

I found out kind of by accident that if you call and ask for a discount if you pay in full, most hospitals will discount your bill by 20-30%. If you have a health savings account, you can use the money to pay your bill and save up to several hundred dollars. Or you could even put it on a credit card if you are able to pay it off quickly.

The good news is that even if the hospital discounts your bill, the pre-discounted amount will still apply towards your deductible or maximum out of pocket because it is an agreement between you and the hospital. It doesn't have anything to do with your insurance.

I had to have surgery earlier this year, and my bill was $1600. I called and asked if I could have a discount if I paid it in full, and they knocked it down to $1300. It's still a lot of money but I was happy to keep the extra $300!

Here are some other ways to save money on health care costs:

  1. Save More with Increased Fitness Levels
  2. Use a Flexible Spending Account to Lower Tax Bill
  3. How to Save on Buying Eyeglasses
  4. Use an FSA to Reduce Your Federal Income Taxes

How do you save on health care costs?
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Read the other great Everyday Savings Tips here.


  1. Shandi Naugle on April 9, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    Nice tips! Thanks for sharing the info!

  2. Beth Wheeling on April 9, 2012 at 6:53 pm

    I think that you have some leverage if you have a big balance versus negotiating before a procedure.
    I have tried to do this before getting a test or having a procedure and the answer is usually “no.” I don’t think that hospitals want to turn into “Let’s make a deal.” Most people don’t understand that as long as they pay something, anything (even $5 a month) on a balance, they cannot be sent to collections. It costs money for the hospital to hold a balance and keep trying to collect it than to have you just pay it all at once, so you probably are making it pretty attractive. Hospitals have wised up on planned procedures and tests. They bill you before the test. If it is elective they have the upper hand.


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