In February of 2018, my wife and I were instructed by our primary care physician to get our daughter an abdominal ultrasound procedure. We did not think for a moment about how much we would need to pay out-of-pocket from our health savings account. Like many Americans, we were in a high-deductible health insurance plan with one of the nation’s largest health insurers and fully expected reasonable negotiated prices for her procedure.
Imagine our surprise when we received a $1,500 bill for a 30 minute in-network, outpatient diagnostic procedure. Despite considerable efforts, our health insurance plan refused to explain why they had agreed to enter into a reimbursement contract that forced us to pay a provider eight-times the average price of one of the most common and widely used diagnostic healthcare procedures.
This experience was both surprising and enlightening. In the past decade, health insurance has changed considerably with plan enrollees responsible for much larger deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses. This abdominal ultrasound experience demonstrated the realities of this new era of high-deductible health plans. It taught the importance of ensuring that healthcare consumers have the right tools to navigate this environment.
This is why HealthPriceCompare exists. With hospital systems now legally required to post insurance-payer specific prices for healthcare services, we empower consumers with a solution that transforms this data into actionable information.