5 ways to save on health care costs

Posted at 12:11 PM, Jul 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-17 12:11:56-04

With health care changes on the horizon, it’s important to make sure you know ways to save on your health care expenses.

No matter how you receive your health care coverage — through your employer, the individual market, Medicare or Medicaid — being a smart shopper when it comes to health care will be beneficial for your wallet.

Here are some tips to help you save on health care expenses.

1.   Price transparency tools

Health care costs should be clear. That’s why Priority Health provides its members with the tools and resources they need in order to know the cost. The Priority Health Cost Estimator allows members to search the cost of various procedures and tests at different hospitals. Cost Estimator is also a great option for lowering costs by helping you find the best price for your procedure.

Priority Health is currently working on expanding the Cost Estimator tool to include medications. This would allow consumers to search a medication and view the price differences across various pharmacies in their area.

2.   Health plan reward programs

PriorityRewards, from Priority Health, is an incentive program that rewards members up to $200 for choosing a fair-priced medical procedure through the Cost Estimator tool. The price of procedures may vary by hundreds, even thousands, of dollars depending on the facility. Knowing the cost of care and where to receive it could save consumers a lot of money and may put a Visa gift card in their pocket. Check with your health plan to see what rewards programs are offered for your engagement.



3.   Company wellness program

Wellness programs are designed to motivate you to improve your health by offering rewards when you achieve the health goals set by your employer. As they are generally customized by an employer, goals and requirements can vary. Some aspects of a wellness program can include classes designed to educate you about health risks and improving behavior, health coaching, member discounts, and online health assessments to help measure your current health and lifestyle to identify potential health issues. This can save consumers money by helping them to achieve better health, meaning fewer doctor visits.

4.   Virtual visits

Virtual visits are not only a more convenient option when it comes to a sudden need to see a doctor, but they also are often more cost effective. Used for fevers, cold and flu, sinus infections, allergies and so much more, the copay for a virtual visit is usually around $45, while the price to head to the nearest emergency room can be $100 or more. The majority of hospitals in the U.S. are currently utilizing a telemedicine program, helping you to save money wherever you go.

5.   Preventive care

Many times, preventive care is included in your health plan benefits, meaning the insurance company pays the cost in full. Preventive care is integral to keeping you healthy, and ultimately out of the doctor’s office for sick visits. Preventive care includes immunizations, physical exams, lab tests and certain prescriptions. Download the Priority Health’s Preventive Health Care Guidelines to see what is considered preventive care.

It’s important to make sure that you know the tools that are out there to help you save on health care expenses. Cutting down on things like unnecessary procedures, emergency room visits, and illness in general, through utilization of tools like the Cost Estimator, PriorityRewards and wellness programs helps to lower health costs for everyone.