How to Research Health Care Prices
Health care costs are now exceeding $10,000 per person on an annual basis and costs are expected to increase nearly 6% per year over the next decade (source: here). One of the causes of this out of control spending is a lack of visibility into the costs that we spend at the doctor.
Even if you have insurance, and especially if you have a high deductible insurance, it is still smart to shop around to see what your doctor charges for different procedures. Doing this will reduce your out of pocket expenses for uncovered procedures. Unfortunately there is a lot of mystery surrounding health care pricing which is caused by several factors:
Health care providers typically do not reveal the costs they charge for their services to the public
Insurers often contract with doctor's to receive lower prices andy do not reveal their prices
Doctors and nurses often do not know how much the procedures the perform will cost (next time you're at the doctor ask and see for yourself)
Fortunately Medicare has released data which show the bill cost for procedures performed by odctors. This price is not what Medicare paid, since Medicare also negotiates lower prices with health care providers, but what was actually billed to them. If you're looking for a doctor these costs can act as a good guide to see what you will be charged.
By using our Doctor Search tool you can find a Doctor near you and see what they charge for various services compared to the national average.