Are You Shopping For The Best Price For Your Health Care Cost?
Most New Yorkers today have a high deductible health plan (HDHP) where we must pay some, if not all, of the deductible costs out of pocket before the insurance company pays anything, yet we aren’t shopping for the best price for those services. We shop for the best prices for the car we want, the TV we are going to watch, and the groceries we are going to cook with but we blindly go to the doctor or hospital. Why aren’t we using the tools available to us to get the best price? I think the biggest reason is that people don’t know that they can shop for a price for services including surgery, maternity care, radiology, and prescription drugs just to name a few. But you can!
Many major health insurance companies have treatment cost calculators on their websites that allow you to compare the price for a procedure or x-ray between different providers, but these resources are largely underutilized. They are made to be easy to use and understand, so don’t be intimidated by the idea of having to shop your procedures, in fact the insurance companies have customer service departments that will be more than happy to walk you through it.
According to Commwealth Fund, a nonprofit foundation supporting research on health policy reform, in 2018 New Yorkers spent an average of 10.4% of their annual income on premium contribution and deductibles. It’s time for us to take control of where we spend our healthcare dollars.