When you're asked it's because they intend to screw you.
It's hard to screw someone when you have to give them a price first. When the entire premise is that you do first then bill someone else screwing becomes endemic.
Incidentally for virtually anything that is not an "instant emergency" (e.g. you will die if you don't get treatment RIGHT NOW such as a heart attack or stroke) you can get on a plane and get treatment, paying *CASH*, in any of a dozen or more nations and be able to afford it for less than the cost of even ONE year's "health insurance."
Yes, even for allegedly-catastrophic conditions (e.g. Hepatitis C, for which the drug that cures it, Sovaldi, is $80,000 here in the US -- and under $1,000 in India and a half-dozen other nations.)
same reason why dentist never disclose their prices anywhere, only when you're there in the office. If you ask for a quite, they would never give you one over the phone or email. Plastic surgeons can be secretive as well, but I've found they are more open than dentist.
I wanted to the cost for a procedure called balloon sinuplasty which helps widen the sinus cavities for better breathing and less chance of sinus infections. They wouldn't give me a quote over email, even though this procedure does not require any custom, it is the same for any patient regardless. They want you to call on the phone.
Makes you wonder why they do that. They do that because is easier to convince (lie) a person and sell the procedure over the phone or in person when you are right there under pressure. The average person is clueless about many things and never does research,
If they gave me a quote over email, not only would give me more time to dedice or even not respond at all, but I could also use this email to potentially post their prices on forums like realself among others. They don't want this, because they know their prices are high and people are less likely to pay/finance procedure if they already know the cost in advance rather than in person, where you are pressured and facts are exaggerated many times just to sale the procedure