I see, yes, that's what I was wondering about. If you're uninsured in USA and have to go to the hospital, you're basically fucked? I've seen huge bills in pictures just for simple procedures. Never set foot on US soil, so I don't know about the details.
How common are insurance scams? If that's an area you know about as well.
Medicare has been a massive target for fraud in the past. Scammers have made millions off of them. They have brought that down recently with value based payment requirements. The state Medicaid programs are easy targets as well. Private insurers are profit-seeking, so they have dedicated staff to watch every dollar. It's harder to scam them and get away with it. Is that what you were asking about?
You're fucked either way lol. If you are insured, then you are paying out the ass every month for coverage you may never even use. Even if you do have a chance to use it, you will have to pay a certain level out-of-pocket before coverage kicks in. At least as a self-pay patient (what we call uninsured) you have more control of your expenses.
Most hospitals have self-pay discounts. Some are better than others. A university hospital, for example, receives tax breaks as an education center for charitable write-offs, and is may discount by as much as 50%. A self-pay patient can work out a payment plan with the hospital, or allow the balance to go to a collection agency and have even more leeway -- at the expense of taking a hit to their credit.
Some doctors are fed up with dealing with the insurance companies and only see self-pay patients. If you can manage it, that's the least expensive way to go. However, if your situation is an emergency, such as a car accident, you won't have control over that. For Americans who have auto insurance, my advice is to up your "medical payments" or "personal-injury-protection" coverage on your auto policy to equal your health insurance deductible. These types of coverage are considered primary to health insurance, and will pay first in the event of auto-related injury. But the laws are different in every state, so talk to your agent first.
The country with the best healthcare system is France. America should adopt it.