Just how much does it cost to have something done at a hospital, even if insurance pays? Shopping around for the best medical procedure prices isn’t something consumers think about often.
“We’re able to shop around for everything else we buy, from cars, to clothing to a vacation. But on this really important part of our lives, we have limited resources,” Llyod Coleman, President of the Utah Association of Health Underwriters tells KSL-TV.
There is no 100% guarantee of any price when it comes to getting the best out of pocket prices but there are a few things you can do that might save. For every medical procedure there is a code recognized by the health care industry. If you’re able to obtain that code you might be able to shop around for better prices.
Another tip; visit websites like healthcarebluebook.com and fairhealth.org. Website like this try to provide an average price for medical procedures in your area so that you have an idea of what things cost.
Llyod is the first to admit that it’s very difficult for an insured consumer to find out a true cost in advance. This problem exists because of a confidential agreement between hospitals and insurance companies. “So the carrier may say we have better pricing, we negotiated pricing, but they don’t want that known by their competitors,” says Lloyd.
Many of the carriers offer pricing information on their website for policy holders or provide numbers that can put you in touch with agents.
If you’re hoping to save, Bill TV is told visiting urgent care centers instead of emergency rooms could save thousands.
Also, paying in cash, upfront could open doors for discounts.