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Online Medical Pricing Can Save You Money Posted: December 10th, 2009

By Sanford Ellowitz

Sanford Ellowitz is a New York State licensed insurance agent. He is also a Certified Financial Planner and a Certified Employee Benefit Specialist. He has over 25 years experience in the insurance and financial services industries.

Thirty states have laws mandating that the price of various medical procedures be made available online. Now you can check and compare costs for the same procedure from a variety of health care providers. Depending on whether a procedure is performed in a hospital or on an outpatient basis, you may find a wide variation in the cost of a procedure.

Even if you have health insurance, it's a good idea to review medical procedure pricing, particularly if you have to meet deductibles or co-pays.

Where to Check for Prices

Many insurers post prices directly on their own Web sites, so begin with your insurer's site when searching for pricing information. You can also check the Web sites of many provider networks.

After you've seen the price, it's also helpful to call the provider to confirm the online pricing information. Also, find out if there are any other fees, which might not have been listed as part of the procedure. Some hospitals, or medical offices associated with hospitals, add on facility fees to cover their costs. These may or may not be covered by your health insurance plan.

Shop Around Online to Save Money

If you don't have health insurance, you can use medical pricing information to help save money on procedures you must pay for yourself. The Internet can also be a great resource when shopping around for health insurance. You can go online and get free health insurance quotes, and compare plans in order to get the cheapest health insurance for your needs.

Online Doctor Visits

Another way that technology can help reduce medical costs is being tested in Minnesota. Using a computer and a web cam, a doctor and patient can have a face-to-face online visit. This kind of visit can't include tests, but it could be useful for a doctor-patient discussion, such as questions about drug interactions. The price charged for the online visit may be about half the cost of a regular office visit.

Sanford Ellowitz