ER costs and how to circumvent them

Read this article on ER costs : An average ER visit costs more than an average month’s rent

It talks about great variations in prices depending on where they seek treatment and what type of coverage they have.  It specially talks about prices of emergency visits, and also states that they looked at the charges and didn’t into how much insurer or patients paid.

Talking about variation in payment first and type of coverage later.  I wonder why don’t insurers, HMO and others inform and educate the patient about where they can have treatment at lessor costs.  The article talks about various examples where people went to emergency for headache where they could have easily called up a tele-nurse.  I think healthcare system should educate and reward patients who take up less expensive option.  A patient who has a good coverage across all ailments will land up at emergency even for small reasons.  I think patients should be rewarded with greater coverage if they use less expensive option.  Just as utilities companies actively help you keep your bill down, healthcare companies should do the same.

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