Don’t Get Ripped Off

Don’t Get Ripped Off

By Paul Breslau, Breslau Insurance & Benefits Inc.

Even if you have Medicare, an individual plan, or health insurance through your employer with Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, UnitedHealthcare or another provider, there is still potential that you will get ripped off by machinations in our health care system. Here’s an unedited email from a friend and another unedited email from a client that validates my taking the time to write these articles.

Hey Paul,

Long time no talk.

So…as the story goes… we are at my mother-in-law’s house last night and she is complaining that some pill she needs costs $500 each. I remembered your article in the Scottsdale Airpark News, found it, downloaded the GoodRx app, and found the generic brand at Safeway for $50 for 10 pills. She was so, so happy and I made sure to give you all the credit (not her ex-son-in-law, the pharmacist).

So for this week in our family, You Da Man!

– Steven


Wow, Paul,

What a wonderful piece of advice you gave me. Not only was I billed $1,375 for anesthesia, (but) they hadn’t gotten around to billing me the same amount for the nurses. I called the provider as you suggested and explained the situation as you recommended and my total payment on both invoices, paid immediately with credit card before they changed their mind, was $194.24. I’m in total shock, to say the least!

Thank you so very much for sharing your experience and wisdom with me!

– Kathy

What to do!

“What if the cash price is less than the price with insurance? One needs to check this each time. I had an example: $22 with insurance and without cash price was $7.” – Roger

• Use the GoodRx app on all your pharmacy purchases. The lowest prices can often be lower than the co-pay on your medical plan. They also are excellent for those with Health Savings Accounts.

• Ask for the in-network discount for out-of-network providers. Often these can be from out-of-network emergency room doctors and anesthesia doctors who work in the in-network hospital. Negotiate your own deal and pay in full at the provider or to the collection agency and obtain significant reductions.

• Use the member service lines at the health insurance companies to ask for advice. They will know the rules about balance billing, notifications, etc.

• Find an experienced health insurance agent who will be able to help evaluate your problems and the alternatives for solving it.

• Join iEverydayCARE for just $105/month from our friends at or arrange for a Redirect Health employer plan for your business. In addition to unlimited primary care, chiropractic treatments, pain management, wellness, etc., their CareLogistics staff are experts at determining the right health coverage at a fair price.

• Join one of the cost-sharing plans for individuals and families or the Sedera Health Cost Sharing for businesses. They will negotiate on your behalf.

I am now partnering with leading local health insurance and employee benefits experts. Please reach out to me at 602-692-6832 or for an initial conversation, evaluation, or referral. 

Paul Breslau, Registered Health Underwriter (RHU), Registered Employee Benefit Consultant (REBC), Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU), Chartered Financial Consultant (CFC), Chartered Advisor for Senior Living (CASL), is President of Breslau Insurance & Benefits Inc. Contact: 602-692-6832;;