Surprise Bills: How to Get Affordable Healthcare in the US

• Healthcare in the United States is primarily a private system, where the cost of services is unknown before the visit.
• When you arrive at the doctor’s office, you typically hand over your health insurance card and pay a copay.
• After services are rendered, your doctor’s office will send a claim to your health insurance company to be paid out, and you may then be hit with a surprise bill that has yet to be budgeted for.

Having access to healthcare when needed is essential for long-term health, and jurisdictions around the world have different ways of implementing this process. In the United States, healthcare is mainly provided by the private sector and is dependent on one’s ability to pay. When visiting a healthcare provider, a patient typically hands over their health insurance card and pays a copay, not knowing what the total cost of services will be. However, this poses a problem when the bill comes in months later and the patient no longer has the money to pay the balance.

The current healthcare system in the United States is far from perfect. There is no way for people to get an estimate of what their visit may cost, even with insurance, and patients are often hit with surprise bills that can be difficult to pay. Additionally, healthcare providers themselves are having difficulty finding qualified staff who are able to navigate the complexities of the healthcare system and calculate the true cost of services.

The need for healthcare reform in the United States is clear. A system should be put in place that creates transparency and allows patients to know the cost of their visit before they arrive, so that they can make the best decisions for their health without the fear of being hit with an unexpected bill. Additionally, there should be incentives in place that encourage qualified staff to join the healthcare industry and provide the best possible care at an affordable cost. With such changes, everyone can have access to the quality healthcare they need and deserve.