Whether choosing a doctor, looking for a pharmacy or undergoing surgery, your smartest approach as a health care consumer is to compare costs. Costs will vary widely between providers and facilities—doing your homework could save you thousands of dollars.
Thanks to escalating consumer demand for transparency, cost information tools for common medical procedures, as well as prescription drugs, are now widely available online. The following are highly regarded.
Using claims data from both private and government insurers, Amino takes your age, gender and insurance information and provides you with a nearby map of median prices for the medical procedure you choose. Diving further, you can find the cost from individual physicians and medical facilities, including your out-of-pocket costs.
Blink Health finds the best price for generic prescription drugs at pharmacies in your area, then allows you to pay for them and use the receipt to pick them up at nearly any pharmacy.
Created by journalists and using data from a wide variety of sources, ClearHealthCosts provides provides a combination of cash prices, government prices and crowdsourced prices. The fullest data sets, for the moment, are in the areas surrounding New York City, including northern New Jersey and other suburbs; San Francisco, Los Angeles, Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin, San Antonio, Philadelphia, Miami and Tampa-St. Petersburg.
FH Consumer Cost Lookup
FAIR Health uses a database of billions of billed medical and dental services to enable consumers to estimate their expenditures. Cost lookup tools provide cost estimates for medical and dental services in your area, as well as estimates of how much insurers generally cover when you visit providers who are out of network. The website also offers educational articles and videos about the health care insurance reimbursement system.
Good Rx finds the best deals for generic prescription drugs at pharmacies in your area, then links you to coupons to help you pay for them.
Created by the independent nonprofit Health Care Cost Institute, Guroo provides national, state, and local cost and quality information for common health conditions and services. Cost estimates are developed using data on approximately 40 million Americans. Users can search by a specific problem (condition) or by the services they need (care bundle) — for example, a user searching for “knee surgery” can learn the average cost for the procedure and the “bundle” of services covered by that amount in his or her area.
Healthcare Bluebook shows you the range of prices for a medical service in your area and pinpoints what it considers a “fair” price. Consumers can use this fair price to shop for providers . . . or to bargain with them. With one of the oldest cost-comparison tools in the field, Healthcare Bluebook is a pioneer in the efforts to achieve price transparency in health care.