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Uninsured turn to daily deal sites for health care
He used Groupon as a way to bring in patients under 30-years old with the hope that they would recommend his services to friends and rate him on review website Yelp. A good review might persuade someone else to visit his office, Feinerman said. He charges $5,000 for the surgery on both eyes; a price that he said can be “overwhelming for 20-to 30-year-olds.”
Feinerman approached Groupon about listing the eye surgery for $3,000. Groupon, which is based in Chicago, pushed him to lower the price to $2,100.
Feinerman got exactly the type of patient he was looking for in Thomas Cho. Cho, 29, bought the offer and after the surgery wrote a review on Yelp. He gave the vision center five stars _ the highest rating on the website.
Cho said in an interview that his health insurance plan only covers 20 percent of the regular price of Lasik since it is considered a cosmetic procedure. He would have paid about $4,000 if he had used his insurance discount.
Cho decided to buy the Groupon, paying $2,100 initially. After consulting with the doctor, he upgraded his surgery to an all-laser procedure for $1,000 more. At the time, Cho’s credit card issuer was offering a 20 percent cash back promotion on Groupon purchases. In all, he saved more than $1,300.
“I had my post-op checkup and I am seeing 20/20,” Cho wrote on Yelp. “I couldn’t be happier.”
Joseph Pisani can be reached at http://twitter.com/josephpisani
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