(WWBT) - A new survey finds half of Americans are making a mistake that could cost them a fortune when it comes to medical care.
The survey in the Health Affairs Journal finds about half of people didn't find out the cost of medical appointments or treatments in advance.
Only 13 percent tried to predict what they'd pay out of pocket, and just 3 percent called other providers to compare costs.
About three quarters of providers in hospitals now ask for payment up front. Before you agree to a test, procedure or specialist visit, you need to call your insurance company and make sure its covered or that the specialist is in network.
Then use a site like Healthcare Blue Book to research average prices for that test or procedure where you live. Many providers and hospitals provide a discount if you're paying up front and out-of-pocket, but you may have to ask for it.
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