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Charges for uninsured patients | 355 comments | Create New Account
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Charges for uninsured patients
Authored by: Chromatix on Sunday, July 01 2012 @ 07:06 PM EDT
There is an analogous situation for railway passengers in the UK, although it is somewhat less insidious because it doesn't involve insurance. There, the "full standard-class fare" is defined as the most flexible single-journey ticket that doesn't actually confer first-class privileges.

Almost all passengers actually buy one of the many types of discounted ticket, ranging from off-peak tickets for shoppers and tourists, through season tickets for commuters who normally use peak-hour trains, to advance tickets which can often be several times cheaper than the standard fare but need to be bought several days in advance, airline style. Then there's the fact that tickets restricted to a single route or a single train operator can be much cheaper than those permitting a range of routes and operators. It's a rather complex system.

That complexity does however tend to trip people up, which is where the analogy comes in. It often happens that a confused traveller gets on the wrong train after having bought an Advance ticket, which only permits travel on a specific train at a specific time. An unsympathetic ticket inspector can then treat them as travelling without a valid ticket, and charge them the "full standard-class fare" described above. And if they don't have the means to pay that there and then, they're in *real* trouble. All this can be triggered by a simple mistake such as arriving at the station at the correct time, seeing a train in the platform bound for the correct destination, and not realising that this is the previous, late-running train!

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

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