April 23, 2002
The new Pittsburgh HD Clinic sees medical assistance clients and has a sliding scale for those who cannot pay and accept insurance.
Ironic but I just learned something about this "sliding scale" yesterday or at least how it works in Florida. I don't know about other states so if you have experience, please let everyone know!!
My sister and husband have their own business (antiques) and are self-
insured......ie can't afford medical insurance. A few months back she had to go to a walk in clinic after she burned her hand on a candle. After they finished treating her hand and she went to pay the bill, they asked for her insurance card and she gave them her credit card. They, very quietly, asked if she didn't have insurance did she know about the "sliding scale"?
Apparently, in Florida, if you don't have insurance when you have any
medical work done (doctor, lab etc) and ASK for the sliding scale, they
can reduce your bill up to 60%!!
Terry (my sister) had bloodwork done recently and was presented a bill of over $500.00. She then told them "I'm self-paid and would like the sliding scale" the lady told her she was glad Terry knew about this as they are NOT allowed to tell patients........and reduced her bill to $260.00.
They probably aren't allowed to tell people as some would try to abuse the system, lying about not having any insurance.
So........if you do not have medical insurance when you have any procedure done or have a doctor's appointment, tell them you are "self-paid and would like the sliding scale" applied to your bill.
If you have SSDI, Medicare/ Medicaid or private insurance etc. the sliding scale wouldn't apply
Hmmm, I wonder if this works on prescriptions/pharmacies too?
In response to the above, HD families write:
This worked for me when I went to my neurologist for the pre & post testing appointments. I paid 60% less by paying cash.
I've used the sliding scale rule ever since I moved to Florida. One
note. If you take children to the Public Health Department all of their work is free. Well, maybe not all, but physicals, blood work, flu shots, etc.
The rule DOESN'T apply to emergency room visits though nor does it work
for prescriptions. I've tried.