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Cake Health offers a sweet way to manage health insurance plans Posted: July 5th, 2011

By Megg Mueller

A little cake might just be what the doctor ordered--to help you in your efforts to stay healthy and control health care costs. Still in private beta mode, CakeHealth.com is a site that aims to clear up the confusion that surrounds health insurance plans, their myriad costs, rules and regulations.

Consumers can go to one central place and find all their recent claims, deductible information, payments they've made and more. The goal, says co-founder Rebecca Woodcock, is to remove the confusion that surrounds health insurance, thus increasing your chance of staying healthy.

"Cake Health is adding transparency for the end user," Woodcock says. "A lot of consumers don't really know what they are spending. It is very fragmented; you have doctor bills, claims from insurance … even your basic plan coverage is confusing. You can't remember what it is, can't decipher what it is they do. We're automating and streamlining all those things."

How the service can help with your health care expenses

Cake Health partners with health insurance companies; when consumers log into the Cake Health site they supply their health insurance company log in information. Cake Health then retrieves all of the patient's data, and presents it in an easy-to-use dashboard setting.

But the service does more than just repackage information available on the insurer's site, Health Cake offers additional features that could go a long way to improving your health.

Based on your plan, Woodcock says, Cake Health is designed to help you make the most of your health insurance. For example, Cake Health reminds you of the services you have available to you that you may not be taking advantage of.

"We make recommendations," Woodcock explains. "We can see what you're using and what you haven't used."

Services such as dental cleanings or routine preventative exams often go unused during a plan's year, but with a service such as Cake Health, patients will get reminders about covered areas of their plan that are going unused. Tracking your health savings account will also be a feature on the new site.

Another important feature Cake Health will offer, once launched, is a review of the charges submitted to your health plan, something Woodcock is passionate about. In an article she wrote for Mint.com, Woodcock reports that the Medical Billing Advocates of America claim eight out of 10 hospital bills include errors. She goes on to explain that medical coding is a highly complex and numbers-filled industry that is prone to mistakes, and many times, insurance companies just pay the bill for erroneous procedures, which in turn costs everyone in the form of higher premiums. Cake Health wants to review each claim submitted to verify procedures are in order.

Managing health care could become a piece of cake for certain groups

Woodcock envisions Cake Health, which she hopes will be live by the end of 2011, as a service to all who use health care plans but she has a couple of groups in mind that might find it particularly useful and beneficial.

"First, family household managers who are managing health care for a lot of different people; and then there are the multiple-plan couples," says Woodcock. "It's more common than people realize for a family to have two plans. For both, it's hard to keep track of all the costs and the coverage."

While Cake Health stands alone in its effort to offer consumers a clearinghouse for health insurance information, there are a number of other startups on the horizon. No matter who gets to market first, the consumer will most certainly be the winner.