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3-Minute Book Summary: “Never Pay the First Bill and Other Ways to Fight the Health Care System and Win” By Marshall Allen


3-Minute Book Summary: “Never Pay the First Bill and Other Ways to Fight the Health Care System and Win” By Marshall Allen

3-Minute Book Summary:

Never Pay the First Bill and Other Ways to Fight the Health Care System and Win

By Marshall Allen

(2021 Portfolio / Penguin)

In “Never Pay the First Bill and Other Ways to Fight the Health Care System and Win,” Marshall Allen uses the first part to share real-life examples of the ineptitude and fraud rampant in medical bills and how this hurts patients, anyone paying for insurance, and the employers sponsoring insurance plans.  Once readers understand it’s their own money at stake, Allen walks through tactics on how to make certain medical bills 1) accurately reflect the performed services; 2) are priced fairly; and 3) have been handled correctly by the patient’s insurance carrier.  There are also example-driven chapters on fighting to have an inaccurate bill adjusted and handling medical debt collectors.  

The second part of the book discusses preemptive steps patients can take to avoid all the fighting described earlier in the book.  Patients are given tips on avoiding medical procedures they do not need.  Pricing is more fully explained to demonstrate how prices artificially increase and how everyday people can compare prices to find what they consider fair.  And Allen finishes explaining how to avoid medical bill fights with the simplest advice of all—sometimes people are better off with a “cash pay”—not using their medical insurance.  

The third section of the book focuses on how employers sponsoring health care plans can cut their own costs, as well as the costs of their employees’ medical bills, while improving their health care.  The conflicts of interest between different players in the medical insurance industry are explained, and advice is given on how to easily determine whether an insurance broker is doing what’s best for the employer’s company or instead focused on his own incentive bonuses and prize packages.  Examples are used to demonstrate how other employers have set their own prices, and there is advice on how to follow in those employers’ footsteps.   The employers’ section also covers how to inspect health care receipts for fraud, the typical industry reactions to medical fraud detection, and what employers can further do to get changes made.    

The book ends with several appendices providing examples of letters to use when battling the health care system, as well as more detail on a story mentioned in the book.  

Full of resources, example stories, and encouragement, “Never Pay the First Bill and Other Ways to Fight the Health Care System and Win” is an inspiring, easy to follow read for those curious how they can lower health care expenses for themselves or their companies.  The author invites readers to send him their own stories of how they used the tips in “Never Pay the First Bill” to fight their own health care expenses.    

 

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45 Key Takeaways from "Never Pay the First Bill and Other Ways to Fight the Health Care System and Win" by Marshall Allen

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