Reduce health care costs by shopping around for the best price

Monday, August 26th, 2013 By

reducing health care costs by shopping around

With out-of-pocket health care costs rising, more patients are going online to shop around for a better price. Image: Thinkstock

Health care costs can be expected to rise as reliably as the sun does every morning. People are used to shopping around for the best price on such things as airfare, groceries and consumer electronics. With more out-of-pocket costs for health care these days, shopping for doctors and hospitals makes more sense than ever.

Don’t take health care costs lying down

The costs of health care about to be incurred are traditionally not discussed when a person goes to a doctor or hospital. But the New York Times reports that is changing. According to the Center for Studying Health System Change, 15 percent of people younger than 65 are spending more than 5 percent of their annual income on health care costs. As they pay more out-of-pocket, more people aren’t obediently accepting what appear to be outrageous medical costs and are looking for a better price.

Why health care costs are so confusing

When it comes to health care costs, Michael Schroeder at Angie’s List said even experts get confused. Health care providers and insurance companies are in a battle in which doctors and hospitals try to mark prices up and insurers try to mark prices down. Insurance companies often rely on reimbursement standards established by Medicare. But a health care provider told Schroeder that it bills at an even higher rate than Medicare to reap maximum profit. Insurance companies will dicker the cost down, but uninsured patients don’t enjoy that support.

How to negotiate a better price

Fortunately, controlling medical costs by shopping for doctors and hospitals is easier with online tools. The Los Angeles Times reports that one of the best tools is simply a search engine. Kathy Kristof of the Times typed “cost of a colonoscopy” into Google and got about 200,000 matches. Sites that showed up included PriceDoc.com, MyMedicalCosts.com and HealthCareBlueBook.com. These sites provide critical information about average health care prices that patients can use to negotiate with doctors and hospitals for the best price on a treatment or procedure.

Sources

New York Times

Angie’s List

Los Angeles Times

Previous Article

« Employer health care costs rising despite health care reform bill

Rising employer health care costs in the next year despite health care reform are passed along to workers in the form of higher deductibles. An operating room during surgery
Next Article

Costco adjusting offerings amid strong sales and dropping stock »

Costco warehouses will be taking one popular class of products off the shelves and adding an unusual product as sales continue to increase. CostCo

Leave a Reply

Other recent posts by bryanh

No faxing payday loans provide quick, short term financing

If you need money and need it quick, a no faxing payday loan may be the solution. Get fast loans of up to $1,500 - in as little as two hours!
Two women, both holding laptops, smiling.

Who Needs Investment Analysts?

Understand the role and status of investment banking analysts in our modern economy and assessing the rewards of working in this field. READ HERE
Want to feel the pulse of the economy? Consider a career as an investment analyst. (Photo: Wikipedia.org)

Cash today payday loan

Do you need a cash today payday loan? Tired of waiting for banks to approve your loan applications? Get cash today with a fast payday loan.
A man on the phone and using a laptop.