Earlier today, my son had a doctor's appointment for a vaccination and while checking in, I saw a price list showing various procedures and was surprised to see the prices lower for the uninsured.

It got me wondering why the practice bills insurance for the same procedure at a higher rate.By the glance I got, the price for insurance is about 30%-35% higher. As an insured client, the co-pay in most if not in all cases was cheaper than the price on the menu, but I was still very curious.

At first I thought maybe they were giving the uninsured a discount to help people out. On the other hand with the Affordable Care Act, isn't everyone supposed to be insured now?

I also thought maybe insurance companies charge medical providers at a high rate, so in order to make up the difference, the doctor's office submitted a higher bill to the insurance company. This doesn't make sense, so I decided to do a bit of research and here is what I found.

According to this article, the reason is, if a patient pays cash on the spot, there is no billing process and no waiting, no default and no collection agency if a client pays at the time of service. Less attention to billing over all, so it's cheaper for the provider and cheaper for you.

In some cases it may actually be beneficial to hide that you have insurance but not in all cases. Every practice is different and every practice bills differently.

Bottom line, if what you're at the doctor for costs less than your co-pay or if you're worried about your yearly deductible, this may be beneficial for you. As always, ask your provider first.