Healthcare shopping guide

Why should you shop for healthcare services?

Save Money

You might have a high deductible insurance plan, or no insurance at all! There can be great differences between the amounts of healthcare charges for the same service, and you might be able to save money by getting your service at a different type of provider.

No Surprise Bills

You want to avoid surprise bills! Simple services might actually involve several healthcare providers, each of which will send you a separate bill. We will show you what to expect by providing all of the detail you need to prepare yourself financially.

Quality

You might be concerned with quality. It's your health, after all. The federal government has created quality indicators for hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers, which you can review, alongside real customers.

Coverage

All insurance plans were not created equal. Make sure you're prepared for what yours does and doesn't cover.

Price

When you shop, how often do you buy something without considering the cost? Likely never…

Insurance used to cover most or all of the cost of medically necessary health care services. Some health care coverage, like Medicare, still pays for most of the cost of healthcare. But many health plans, especially the ObamaCare health plans you can buy on the Exchange, have high deductibles, high coinsurance requirements, and limited networks, which means that consumers will have to pay more out-of-pocket for their care.

Additionally, costs for services are not transparent, meaning finding them is difficult at best. You often don’t know what charges make up the service and how they affect the total amount you will need to pay. Now more than ever, healthcare shoppers are burdened by high first-dollar out-of-pocket responsibility due to deductibles and co-pays.

We, at HealthCost.com, think it’s time for a change. We will show our shoppers each of the typical components that is part of a healthcare service – we call that an “Episode of Care” and the cost for each component. You will see how selection of service location and practitioner will change the "Total Cost" of the service.


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How far are you willing to travel to
save money on services?

When you go shopping for groceries, do you consider how far you will have to travel to save money? Would you go farther if you could save $50, $100 or more? Possibly…

Location is an important factor in deciding where to get a service. Heathcost.com will show you where you can get the service you want, and how much the will cost at each location,and whether you can save money if you are willing to travel.


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Quality

As a shopper, do you read reviews to help figure out what products or services are the best? Likely more often than not…

Ever try this for healthcare services? The results can be frustrating. Healthcare.com has the solution. While you are shopping, you will be able to to compare service providers using:

• Standardized quality measures for facilities
• Practitioner training, affiliations, and board certification
• User experiences related to providers you are considering


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What is covered by your insurance?

Health insurance plans cover “medically necessary” services. Each health insurer, including Medicare, has its own policies for deciding which services are “medically necessary.” Most insurers have similar definitions regarding which services are medically necessary, but there are differences and it is always advisable to check with your insurance carrier if you have any questions.

Some health insurance plans exclude coverage for certain types of services, particularly experimental services and cosmetic services. Each insurance carrier has its own policies about which services it considers to be experimental, cosmetic, or otherwise excluded. So it is always advisable to check the exclusions in your health care policy and ask your insurer if you have any questions.