Have you ever felt that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach when a medical bill comes in the mail?
Don’t worry, you’re not alone – we all have. Often the total cost of a medical procedure isn’t readily available to you upfront so it’s a challenge to predict the total amount you’ll owe in the future.
And it’s an even greater challenge to shop around for the best price. Thankfully, several healthcare cost comparison sites offer a solution. These convenient tools will help you research medical costs so you can negotiate with your providers and make informed decisions about your care before you’re billed.
1. Healthcare Blue Book
Healthcare Blue Book has a simple platform where you compare providers by quality and cost. You select the type of care or medication you need and enter your zip code into the Fair Price search tool. Then an average fee based on your location pops up. Once you receive the estimate, you can use it while shopping to ensure the amount you pay for a procedure or medication is fair.
2. New Choice Health
The New Choice Health site is home to a marketplace of over 17,000 medical facilities that will provide you with quotes for procedures based on the type of insurance you have. Obtain several quotes and you’re bound to find the most affordable option available to you.
3. Save On Medical
At Save On Medical you can look up costs for procedures like mammograms, X-rays or ultrasounds. The search process at Save On Medical is very similar to the process at Healthcare Blue Book. You put in your location and your medical procedure to get a list of providers in your area with pricing info. You can also set up appointments straight through the site and pay in advance to lock in discounted rates.
4. Health In Reach
Do you pay medical bills out-of-pocket? Head over to Health In Reach. Its mission is to connect patients that pay out-of-pocket with doctors who want to avoid processing insurance paperwork. According to Health In Reach, doctors save money when they bill patients directly and they pass some of the savings on to you through discounts on the site. Compare savings on over 50,000 procedures nationwide and then schedule an appointment to secure discounts.
5. FAIR Health
The FAIR Health site aims to bring transparency to healthcare costs and health insurance with informative articles and a medical cost estimator search bar. One of its many resources is the Health Insurance 101 page which explains insurance in layman terms. Who couldn’t use that? Then to use the search tool you put in your location, whether you’re insured or not and the type of procedure you need. Keep in mind, you can perform up to 10 searches per week on the FAIR Health site, so search wisely.
Bottom line? You don’t have to go into a medical procedure blindly. Use these resources to shop around for the best price so you can make empowered financial decisions.