If you’ve ever opened the bill from a recent surgical procedure and experienced serious sticker shock, you’re not the only one. A 2015 Consumer Reports survey of 2,200 Americans found that one-third of respondents received a medical bill for which they had to pay a higher cost than expected.
With medical cost inflation reaching an 8-year high in 2015, consumers are more concerned than ever with keeping their healthcare expenses under control (Source: CNBC). Luckily, the internet is making the process easier with procedure cost estimator websites. These sites estimate your average procedure cost based on what healthcare practitioners in your area usually charge. Once you know the average cost, you can easily shop for a doctor with reasonable rates and avoid unexpected medical expenses. Here are a few sites to help you find average procedure rates in your area:
Just like Kelley Blue Book tells you the fair market value of your vehicle, Healthcare Bluebook estimates the total fair price for a wide variety of medical procedures. The site provides cost estimates for surgical and non-surgical procedures, labs, imaging, pharmacy, dental, cosmetic medicine, and hearing aids. The site also provides a breakdown of fees for physician services, facility services and anesthesia. Enter your ZIP code for customized results based on what physicians in your area typically charge.
MDsave is an online healthcare marketplace that allows consumers to pay up-front for medical procedures, imaging and treatment for a wide variety of diseases and conditions. Prices are negotiated with medical providers to provide up to 60 percent out-of-pocket savings, and fees are bundled into one lump sum so you don’t have to worry about surprise expenses. The search tool allows you choose from a list of providers in your area, and you can even read user reviews to find the doctor who is right for you.
FAIR Health Consumer Cost Lookup
This site estimates your procedure cost based on the FAIR Health’s national database of healthcare claims. Whether you have insurance or not, the cost estimator tool shows how much you can expect to pay out-of-pocket for medical and dental care. You can also compare the cost of seeing an in-network or out-of-network provider to help you find the best price possible.
At a time when medical costs are higher than ever, it truly pays to shop around for reasonably priced care. Take some time to do your research, and don’t be afraid to call your doctor or medical facility and ask for their rates. Knowledge is power when it comes to managing your medical expenses, and it could mean extra dollars in your pocket!