Why is it that you have to pay more than the insurance company pays?
I come from Canada but live in far away country where I pay for insurance myself. There, all costs are known in advance, even if required services are not. The insurance company pays the total bill and then pays me money for missed time at work.
Back in my own country for the summers, I have recently had the misfortune to need medical service. While the service providers are frequently surprised that there is someone who is not covered by the government run system, they know upfront and exactly what it will cost. I can call around to find the cheapest walk-in clinic. There it is cash only paid in advance.
At a privately run lab test company, they told me exactly what the cost was for each test and billed my credit card, in advance.
Even at the ER of a hospital they told me the cost in advance and again I paid in advance with a credit card. The doctor filled out the forms and I was reimbursed by my insurance, 100%
What surprised me the most was how low the prices actually were. I was shocked to learn that various blood tests at the private lab cost from $3 to $11 each. Walk-in general visits varied from $40 - $70
Back when it was all free for me I had the impression that it was all very expensive and that somehow our taxes still paid it all.
Just like the idea that paying a toll for every turn that you take on the street not an ideal system and that government pays for all roads, without argument from the craziest of right wingers, I think the same goes for medical care. I have heard that 2 million people in the US are employed in processing medical insurance claims. All of that money could go into medical care.