As a society we’ve become pretty comfortable with the notion of comparing costs for things that we’re going to buy. When is the last time that you bought a car, or even a book without shopping around on google? Probably almost never. Well healthcare should be no different. Comparing healthcare costs is a must. We have a number of articles (here and here) talking about why you should care about your healthcare cost and how to reduce it. But let’s use this article to narrow in on some cost comparison websites. I want you to be able really put this stuff into action.
Before we do that, let’s just first address the fact that Consumer Reports, yes the company that reviews TV streaming services, has a healthcare section. This cool article highlights some of the best healthcare cost comparison websites that are available to everybody, as well as some insurance carrier specific programs. Top points are awarded to the insurers “Cigna” and “United Health Group” for their cost comparison tools available to plan members.
Ratings are provided under the categories of “patient outcomes”, “price estimates” and “drug cost information”. Similar guides can be found for different types of shopping websites, but I’m particularly impressed with the fact that they are also rating health insurers, rather than just public cost comparison websites.
Anyways, let’s check out a few of the top sites that Consumer Reports has for us
Healthcare Cost Comparison Websites
- Amino – Right at the top of the list is Amino, a very inclusive service that compares data from “almost every doctor”. Amino provides recommendations for doctors, and actually sync up with your insurance plan. It makes sure that the doctors you’re viewing are covered under your plan. Amino even has a booking service and can give you cost estimates before you book an appointment. Despite the fact that this is the highest rated private company, they still received a 66/100, because of mediocre “functionality”.
- Compare Maine, NH Health Cost, CO Medical Price Compare – Ok so I’ve grouped the next 3 on the list together because they are state specific. So unless you live in Maine, New Hampshire or Colorado, they aren’t going to be of much help. But I wanted to address the fact that we’re seeing STATES publicly funding cost comparison websites. It’s likely driven mostly by the fact that the states have their own health exchanges (public insurance plans). It shows how seriously they’re taking consumerism. And to be honest, they’ve done a pretty good job. So if New Hampshire decided to make their own cost comparison tool, shouldn’t you at least consider using one for yourself?
- Guroo – Next up on the list is Guroo, who scored fairly low in the realm of functionality, content and reliability. Which is a shame because I’m actually a big fan of this site. It is particularly easy to use because you can search by the exact kind of treatment you need. You can also search by vague descriptions, such as “knee pain”. It might not be the best comparison site out there, but I think it’s a good place to start. Especially if you’re not super familiar with shopping around yet.