5 Resources to Help You Cut Health Costs in 2022
When it comes to healthcare expenses many employees may struggle to fully overcome the financial burden. Medical needs and emergencies can very rarely be predicted, which complicates the matter even further. This is why we have cultivated a list of 5 resources employers can utilize to help ensure their employees gain the best care at the best price. Read on to learn how your organization can best prepare employees for those costly medical bills and ultimately lower expenses in the process.
This Nashville-based company conducts vast health care economic research to determine fair prices for health care services nationwide. Just by entering your local zip code and a procedure, you can find a “fair price” estimate for your area.
Consumers in Nashville have access to some additional Healthcare BlueBook features, as well. The site also shows a list of medical facilities and providers ranked by quality. It is based on outcomes and other quantifiable data points, which allow consumers to make a more informed decision about their health care.
For example, if a hospital has great outcomes with average prices, most consumers would likely consider it a good value. On the contrary, if a hospital has high prices and average to low outcomes, many consumers may see it as a poor value.
Healthcare Bluebook gives consumers better insight into which facilities in the area are likely to offer the greatest value. This way, consumers can be more confident they are getting the most bang for their buck.
This tool allows consumers to price-shop prescriptions. When searching for a prescription drug, GoodRx will share prices and coupon discounts across national pharmacies. GoodRx provides consumers with free drug coupons, which can be taken to local pharmacies. While coupon prices are not guaranteed, this can be an excellent tool to save money on prescriptions.
There are times when your insurance may cover a prescription, however, GoodRx often offers discounts equal to or even less than your insurance coverage.
Depending upon which state an individual lives in, they may have access to further savings. State-sponsored resources allow employees to determine their eligibility and then discover which health plan is best for them. Medicare.gov has a resource that allows employees to compare health care in your area, including doctors, hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, and in-home services.
Another resource is the ”compare your health plans feature” from HealthEquity. This feature allows employees to compare health plans and details from different HSAs. It is a great way to find the most cost-effective plan available.
Employees can also utilize the Plan Finder on HealthCare.gov. This feature allows you to search for private health plans that exist outside of the Health Insurance Marketplace. This is an excellent resource for individuals who may be struggling to find a plan that works for them financially. One point of note is that if an individual opts for a private plan, then they will be considered eligible for premium tax credits.
Premium Tax Credits
Premium Tax Credits are a resource offered to qualified individuals intended to lower the monthly premium on health plans within the Health Insurance Marketplace. To determine whether you qualify for the tax credit, you will need to first apply for coverage through the marketplace. After applying you will be notified as to whether you qualify or not.
If you are eligible for the credit, then you can choose to apply some or even all of the tax credit to your monthly insurance premium payment. There are certain factors that can affect your premium tax credit, such as a change in income or household. Keep these factors in mind to get the most out of your eligibility.
Another feature that helps reduce costs is cost-sharing reductions. If you qualify for cost-sharing reductions then you will have a lower deductible, lower copayments, and lower out-of-pocket-maximums.
Individuals who are low income or lack health insurance can look to utilize financial aid as a valuable resource. Non-profit hospitals are required to create financial assistance programs. These programs are also referred to as charity care.
Generally speaking, it is usually better to use your insurance if you have it. However, if you find that you require further assistance, then it would be prudent to check with your local hospital to see if you qualify and what options they have available to you.
Individuals will generally be eligible for charity care based upon family income levels. However, the amount of assistance may differ based upon which hospital you choose. One example is the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, which states that those patients whose income falls within 250% or less of the federal poverty guidelines will be eligible for 100% assistance, while those making between 250% and 400% will gain only partial assistance.
Because these numbers differ between locations, it is important that you check with your local hospital to ensure you fully understand the guidelines and total assistance offered.
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