One of the problems with healthcare is that costs are typically not very transparent. This makes it very difficult for consumers to shop around for the “cheapest” provider in town. If you are able to obtain prices for the services you need, how are you going to be able to know if they are fair or overpriced? This is a big problem for the millions of people with no health insurance. If you do have insurance, it can be helpful to know if the “non-covered” services are priced fairly or not.
Most providers bill out one amount to insurance companies, while being willing to accept a lower (sometimes much lower) amount upfront from cash pay patients. As a default, all patients are charged this standard billing rate, but providers are often very willing to accept a lower price for their services. The problem has always been, what is a good price? Healthcare Bluebook website is just the place to go for an answer.
Healthcare Bluebook aims to help fix all the confusion by publishing fair prices for a large variety of medical and dental procedures. The prices are different depending on your area and are pulled from industry data from healthcare providers and employers all over the country. According to the site these prices are what you should expect to pay a quality provider for the particular service. These prices are best used as a basis for bargaining your bill down before they are actually carried out. They offer a printable pricing agreement for each service that can aid your efforts to lock in that lower price. It is still possible to bargain after a service is carried out, just more difficult.
The site offers tips on how to use their fair pricing data and instructions on how to bargain down your costs. I found the information very helpful, and have already recommended it to a cousin of mine that is in need for a teeth cleaning, but doesn’t currently have insurance and had no idea where to start looking.
While the site is more useful for those of us without health insurance, it can also be valuable for those of us with insurance. Either way it pays to be an informed consumer, and Healthcare Bluebook certainly helps in that regard. So check out the site if you don’t have insurance and need some medical care, it could save you a bundle on your medical or dental work.