was launched in 2007 to help consumers look-up prices and find affordable health care
services. For two years, OutofPocket.com
has been the consumer’s voice promoting price transparency in health care, appealing
to the 47 million Americans that are uninsured and consumers with CDHPs. Today,
with so many employers struggling with rising health care costs, consumer driven health
plans are rapidly becoming the number one choice for their affordability. As
these employers adopt CDHPs for their employees, OutofPocket.com becomes a useful
tool to help employees reduce their out-of-pocket expenses and make informed choices
before purchasing health care services. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
a savvy health care consumer saves you money and reduces your health care costs. In
addition to reducing your out-of-pocket expenses, here are some other practical tips
you can use from CheckPoint HR Benefits
Group, on how to reduce your health care costs.
with your doctor. Most
doctors understand the business and processes of insurance. Tap into their knowledge
base for the best possible hospitals for specific procedures. Many
doctors can provide patients with guidance in negotiating fees and/or working with
the insurance companies on lowering out of pocket costs. In some instances, doctors
will reach out to the hospital's finance department (on behalf of the patient) and
request that consideration be made when dealing with the finances of certain procedures.
Bottom line, communicate and work with your doctor!
all of the benefits available to you. Insurance
programs are aligned with a lot of ancillary benefits that consumers should be made
aware of. Benefits such as gym reimbursements, employee assistance programs, massage
therapy, chiropractic care, acupuncture, vision reimbursements, weight loss programs,
free or low cost flu shots or immunizations, disease management programs, health coaching
or nurse advice lines, are no cost preventive benefits. Make sure you read the fine
print and take advantage of everything that is being paid for via premiums.
a smart consumer. Individuals
today have better access to information than ever before. With more control over their
own health care, consumers are able to make educated and more informed decisions about
options, procedures, costs, and treatment. Some insurance companies now have released
the costs for certain procedures covered under their plans on their websites. This
information allows individuals to better understand the true costs of care before
they utilize their plan and allows them to make better financial decisions based upon
quality as well. If your insurance plan
does not provide this information, you can use tools like OutofPocket.com to look
up prices and find the best value.
deductible plans are taking traction in the workplace and with that so does the need
for employees to manage their costs with more scrutiny. One consideration for maximizing
your benefits without sacrificing quality is to ask your doctor about a generic drug.
When working with your doctor, ask them if the prescribed medication has a generic
equivalent that will work for you. If there is a viable equivalent, make sure the
medication is listed on the formulary list that your insurance carrier make available
on their Website.
on wellness. One
of the best ways to reduce health care costs is for people to get healthy! Companies
today are rewarding employees who are proactive in their decision making and who lead
healthier lives through physical fitness and increased presenteeism. Corporate Wellness
programs offered today focus on tobacco cessation, know-your-numbers (BMI, Blood Pressure,
Cholesterol), walking clubs and programs that increase physical activity and reduce
negative behaviors towards health.