Tools For Estimating Health Costs Getting Better — Or So They Say
Boy, is this a trend, from plans for Massachusetts health reform to the private sector to health insurers, but if it’s such a trend, how come we still seem to be so nowhere on it??
The excellent amednews.com has a new post titled: Health plans providing detailed cost estimates of doctors visits. It begins:
Health insurers have replaced online tools that showed only rough guesses as to how much a doctor’s visit will cost with new ones that estimate specific dollar amounts for both overall and patient out-of-pocket costs.
During the past year, several health plans have released new versions or made significant updates to their cost estimation tools. The newer tools show not just a negotiated price but also the anticipated cost to a patient based on his or her benefit plan, as well as how much of the deductible is met. The projection is accompanied by a disclaimer noting that the insurer can’t guarantee its accuracy, but insurers say their updated tools are far better than the old versions.
All well and good, but all you Savvy patients out there, has anybody ever actually gotten useful cost info from your health plan in advance?