How you can reduce your healthcare costs by paying out of pocket

At a time when healthcare costs are skyrocketing, some experts suggest paying out of pocket may be the best way to go.

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Consumers Reports has followed a growing number of doctors and hospitals offering reduced rates in exchange for cash payment, upfront.  Companies like MDsave have recognized this trend and are now offering a way for patients to shop around for the best price when it comes to routine patient care like x-rays, bloodwork and diagnostic testing.

"Doctors and hospitals have to deal with a lot of unknowns when they submit claims to insurance companies. They often don't know when they'll get paid, or if their claims will get denied," MDsave CEO and Founder Paul Ketchel told FOX Business Friday. "The MDsave platform makes the payment process more efficient so all providers who participate in a patient's care are guaranteed timely payment and that means they can afford to offer their patients better prices."

"What we've found is that by enabling doctors and hospitals to collect prepayment, those providers don't incur the cost of billing administration and claims adjudication, so they can pass on those savings to their patients."

-  MDsave CEO/Founder Paul Ketchel

The technology could be critical for people who buy cheaper high-deductible plans in case of emergency but are forced to spend thousands of dollars before their insurance plan even starts to kick in.

“If you look at public records today, the number one cause of bankruptcy in the United States is health care costs,”  Ketchel told Fox Business earlier this year. “If you look at health care spending in general and as a percentage of household income, it’s one of the highest items if not the highest item for most families and individuals.”

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Healthcare is one of the biggest line items for the 2020 Democratic presidential contenders.  Democratic front runner Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusets advocates the Medicare-for-all plan but her plan on how she'll pay for it has not yet been revealed.  Medicare-for-all would apparently reduce the number of uninsured Americans from 27.5 million people to 0.

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This story has been updated.