Weekend Reads: Food prices, imaging costs, and microchips
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In this week's Weekend Reads, find out how much you're overpaying for MRIs and x-rays! Also learn how much you're overpaying for guacamole and cheese! And microchipping from your employer may technically be free, but that might actually have the highest cost of all: your privacy.
When it comes to healthcare, there's a lot that's easier said than done. For example, people will say that patients tired of high medical prices should shop around to get the best deal on a procedure or service. But quick, tell me off the top of your head what the cost is for a carpal tunnel surgery. It's a hard question to answer not just because you don't know where to start, but because prices vary wildly from place to place. That's why Amino is such a cool tool: they let you search healthcare costs in your area to make comparison shopping as easy as it is for flights. Their latest announcement is that you can now compare prices for imaging services like x-rays and MRIs. If someone told me an MRI scan would cost either $1,000 or $438,588, I would believe either. Because I have no idea how much they cost, and neither do you. But now we both do. The more you know!
Have you ever thought, "Hey, you know how they put microchips in dogs? I want that!" Well, good news: you can get do that. Better news: your employer might sponsor it! One employer in Stockholm is microchipping their employees for free, and microchipped employees are holding parties to convince coworkers to join in. It's like a weird(er) Tupperware party. Now, I know what you're thinking: can't the employer track workers and, if so inclined, use information against them? Yes! But, you know, employees can open doors and buy food by waving their hand, so there's that?
This isn't going to be easy to hear, but...you need to stop getting guac on your burrito. And cheese on your burgers. And meat on your pizza. Hey, don't blame me. Blame Big Restaurant for marking up the prices so much! Plate IQ has a great breakdown on how much your favorite foods are marked up when you eat out. Some key takeaways? "Upscale" versions of foods cost more but are marked up less, pizza dough is ridiculously (concerningly?) cheap, and somehow restaurants are able to pay $0.52 for guacamole. Still, the most eye-opening thing is that meals can be marked up by over 600%. We're eating out more than ever, but at these prices we should really be eating in. Maybe replace guac with IRA contributions (I know, I know, but it's important).
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