As health care costs increase, the need for cost transparency also increases. Now, like never before, this increased access to information gives you the opportunity to shop online and gather information about your health care needs before making a decision.
Health insurance companies are offering incentives to members who research options and make healthy, financially savvy choices. Similar to a retail customer rewards program, being involved is a win-win for you as a member.
Shopping for a health care procedure
It can be difficult to find cost and quality information for health care services since health care facilities aren’t required to reveal prices. You might not realize that the price of procedures can vary by hundreds, even thousands, depending on where you receive the care. Despite the price disparity, no correlation between price and quality has been found.
Consumers should be able to see price variations on procedures to make an informed decision about where to receive care.
This is why Priority Health developed its Cost Estimator tool, which members can use to compare health procedure costs as well as get an accurate estimate of their annual expenses for any given service. In Michigan, the price of a colonoscopy, for example, can vary between $1,200 and $4,500 depending on where you go so it pays to shop around.
In addition to the cost savings associated with shopping around, through its program PriorityRewards, Priority Health incentivizes patients who have a reward eligible procedure/service and choose a fair-priced facility using the tool. Once the service has been completed (and a claim processed), Priority Health sends members a Visa gift card that ranges from $50 to $200.
Programs like these can help you:
- Compare costs and quality for numerous procedures
- Estimate annual costs
- Earn cash while shopping for care
- Save money and make the most efficient use of your health care benefits
Taking preventative steps
Much like safe driver programs, consumers who take preventative steps are statistically less likely to need chronic care or to experience major medical events, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Because of this, most major health insurance companies also offer consumer rewards such as:
- Discounts on gym memberships
- Savings at optical stores
- Free wellness-based programs
Participating in workplace wellness programs
Employee wellness programs are becoming increasingly popular, so there’s a good chance your employer has one in place. These programs can help improve your overall physical and mental health. Employers often have their own system of rewards in place to support healthy behavior. Many offer gym membership reimbursements or contribute funds to a health savings account for receiving a yearly physical to motivate employees to participate.
The best part is that you are rewarded for behaviors that help increase your overall health. See what programs your health insurer and employer offer and start reaping the rewards.