GREENSBORO, N.C. — Angela Scott cares for her husband, Ron, full-time at their home in Greensboro. He suffers from a serious neurological disease.
Insurance provided a full electric bed for their home, but there was a lapse in coverage and Angela was told the electric bed was being taken away unless she bought it.
She told FOX8, “the medical equipment company said you can keep the current bed for your husband for $2,100 and I just stopped!”
She quickly did a Google search to find another medical equipment company. She called one in Florida. She says they told her, “They are ripping you off. We can sell you a new full electric hospital bed for $940.”
But she didn’t stop there. She went to Amazon, where she searched for the same brand, model and serial number for the full electric bed. She bought it for $890.19.
Angela saved about $1,200 simply by shopping around. It didn’t take much effort. The medical supply company picked up the old bed and Amazon delivered the new one.
In the health care market you often see these price differences because of what economists call surprise billing. Typically patients just don’t have a choice when buying goods and services in health care and they get stuck paying.
But as FOX8 learned from Angela, not always. Her advice? Challenge the system.
“Be curious! 2,100 for a used bed? I tend to question most everything anyway,” she said.
The Trump Administration is working to bring more transparency to the cost of health care. There’s a plan to require health care providers and health insurance companies to tell you what your out-of-pocket cost will be before you receive care. A report on the progress of the plan is expected from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services at the end of September.