With more and more of the uninsured purchasing high-deductible health plans, this presents an interesting conundrum for the hospital – getting paid.

People that were previously uninsured typically were not covered because they could not afford the health insurance.  with 70% of the new enrollees paying under $100/month for coverage (after the subsidy), alot of people that live on the edge financially now have coverage.  They show up at the hospital with a $3000, $5000 or $6350 deductible, and the hospital is rightfully worried about not being able to collect that amount.

Lifepoint Hospitals operates 60 hospitals in 20 states, with the bulk in the stroke belt.  Their bad debt related to deductible and coinsurance has reportedly risen 40% (from $15 to $25 million per quarter) in the last year alone.

Thats why hospitals are asking for 30-50% of your deductible up front, and some are offering discounts for paying early.  Debt Collection for a hospital tends t o be a public relations mess, so they would prefer to avoid it.