Posted: 08/06/2013

Anticipating Health Costs

Istock_000016197283medium
There’s been no shortage of news coverage this year about the spiraling cost of healthcare in the United States. With the Obamacare clock ticking closer to October 1, health exchanges still seem a distant future to many, and the cost of health care still too high.
 
But beyond insurance rates, it seems the problem may not be the public’s income but instead, the simple cost of care – prescriptions, surgeries, procedures and tests.
 
A recent New York Times article, “The $2.7 Trillion Medical Bill,” compares the costs of routine medical procedures between countries. Think of a $1,185 colonoscopy in the United States versus $655 in Switzerland. Or, a $40,364 hip replacement in the U.S., versus $7,731 in Spain.
 
In a separate Times article, “American Way of Birth, Costliest in the World,” we learn of standard childbirth procedures costing $9,775 in the United States versus $2,641 in Great Britain.
 
Or, as CNN reports, what about a $140 Tylenol pill distributed at a hospital? Sounds crazy right?
 
The speed at which prices have increased over the years is staggering – and almost sure to knock the wind out of you should you face a medical bill without the assistance of health insurance. More than ever, it’s important to be a smart consumer.
 
Hospitals are under no obligation to reveal prices to you. When the bill arrives, you’re uncertain as to how the pricing is determined and how to compare the rates from one medical center to the next. Doctors are not accustomed to discussing the cost of prescriptions with you. Your co-pay could be $200 higher than expected.
 
But as awareness spreads, so will transparency.
 
Tips: How to be a smarter medical shopper
 
  1. Get a second opinion. Before moving forward with a laundry list of prescriptions or ultrasounds or MRI’s or CT scans, ask a second medical professional to weigh in. The cost of that second appointment could save you thousands in medical bills.
  2. Cost compare. Ask your pharmacist to compare the price of your prescription medications between retail, co-pay and HelpRx coupons or NPSN cards. Don’t be afraid to ask your doctor for options when it comes to prescribing effective, but inexpensive, medications.
  3. Shop around. It’s a murky market out there, but you may find some clarity with a little research. For example, there’s a surgical center in Oklahoma that lists estimated, all-inclusive procedure rates on its website. Use listed rates as a bargaining chip, plane ticket in hand.
By Diana, HelpRx Staff Blogger

Get your Prescription Discount Card and automatically SAVE on over 50,000 drugs nationwide.

Helprx_branded_card_desktop Click-here-redbg

About the HelpRx.info Blog

HelpRx.info is staffed by experts in the prescription medication industry. Get the latest health, medical news and pharmaceutical news that can save you money and allow you to take charge of your healthcare. With frequent updates about the prescription drug industry as well as medicine news, you'll gain an insider look into the industry and learn more about how to get the best price on your prescriptions while not sacrificing quality. Subscribe to the HelpRx.info pharmacy blog through our RSS feed or get updates by liking HelpRx.info on Facebook and following HelpRx.info on Twitter.

About HelpRx

Our discounts provide you access to negotiated prices on your prescription drugs at your local pharmacy. We can provide these because we're partnered with OptumRx, a BIG pharmacy benefit provider that provides prescription coverage for MILLIONS of people like you.

About ScriptRelief

Script Relief, the creator of the NPSN card and HelpRx discounts, helps consumers save an average of 50%, and up to 75%, off their prescriptions.

Popular Post

 

Get your Prescription Discount Card and automatically SAVE on over 50,000 drugs nationwide.

Helprx_branded_card_desktop Click-here-redbg

Popular Post

 

About the HelpRx.info Blog

HelpRx.info is staffed by experts in the prescription medication industry. Get the latest health, medical news and pharmaceutical news that can save you money and allow you to take charge of your healthcare. With frequent updates about the prescription drug industry as well as medicine news, you'll gain an insider look into the industry and learn more about how to get the best price on your prescriptions while not sacrificing quality. Subscribe to the HelpRx.info pharmacy blog through our RSS feed or get updates by liking HelpRx.info on Facebook and following HelpRx.info on Twitter.

About HelpRx

Our discounts provide you access to negotiated prices on your prescription drugs at your local pharmacy. We can provide these because we're partnered with OptumRx, a BIG pharmacy benefit provider that provides prescription coverage for MILLIONS of people like you.

About ScriptRelief

Script Relief, the creator of the NPSN card and HelpRx discounts, helps consumers save an average of 50%, and up to 75%, off their prescriptions.

Helprx_savings_logo

About Our Savings:

HelpRx.info is a discount pharmacy service, partnered with a leading pharmacy benefit manager. We negotiate lower prices on prescription medications, that we pass on to our members for free. There is no cost to use our cards and coupon, and anyone can take advantage of our discounts, regardless of healthcare coverage.

Our savings assurance of “up to 75% off” comes from historical data from actual claims. This data includes savings for both brand name and generic medications.