Shopping around really does save you money

The advice given by this site is perfectly sound. It really does save you money to shop around and, by using the internet search engine provided here, you can get multiple quotes. Checking through them gives you the best chance of finding the best deal for you and your family. But this site would fail you if it did not take you on to the next question. After you have the policy in place, does it still pay you to shop around? Ah ha! We hear a chorus of, “Huhs”. Well, let’s spell it out. Everything here encourages you to comparison shop, i.e. to get the current prices and pick the one that’s going to give you the best value-for-money solution to your problem. One of the standard ways in which people aim to save money is to take on ever bigger deductibles. Many of the cheaper policies also load you with copayments. So having a policy is only part of the solution if you have the misfortune to fall ill. It’s no longer enough to smile complacently, safe in the knowledge your policy will cover the costs of treatment. You have agreed to self-insure the amount represented by the deductible and/or copayments and out-of-pocket expenses. When you are picking up a percentage of the total cost, it’s in your interest to get the best value. And, guess what? That means shopping around for doctors and hospitals in exactly the same way you found your policy.

By a curious irony, both the insured and the uninsured now often face the same problem: to find prices on the internet for the treatment needed. In the same way you might shop around for an HD TV to replace your old set, you start asking, “How much does this operation cost?” followed closely by, “Where can I find a better price?” A number of doctors and healthcare facilities have begun to cater more directly to the uninsured market and now post their prices online. More importantly, some will negotiate on these prices. The fact you have a policy does not prevent you from taking advantage of this opportunity. But you need to move with care (as always). There is never just one price for any procedure or operation. So many different factors affect price starting with where you live and who the local providers are. The prices will differ depending on whether you ask a hospital, clinic or individual doctor to quote. The root of the problem is often the insurance industry. The companies offer many types of policy and, depending on the volume of business directed to doctors, clinics and hospitals, negotiate different prices for each treatment option. It’s not unusual for there to be ten and more prices for the same treatment depending on who is paying.

So you cut through this arbitrary pricing structure and find the real prices. If you have a health insurance policy, ask your insurer for the provider prices for the networked doctors. The better companies help you find the lowest price treatments. On the internet, there are search engines giving you lists of doctors in your area with the best prices for the treatment you need. Did you know thirty-three states require hospitals publish their prices? Shopping around really can save you money on your health insurance!