Managing your Cost

The cost of your health care is more than just the premiums that you pay each month. This section of the guide will explain the kinds of costs that you may experience and also some of the calculations involved, to give you a better understanding. This section also offers advice on how to handle unexpected costs and how to understand your bill.

Topic Area: Don't Overpay!

Why would I want to compare costs for health services?

Each insurance company negotiates discounted rates

Health insurance companies rarely pay the full charge for a service; instead, they negotiate the price they will pay for health care services ahead of time. Each insurance company negotiates with health care providers to establish the discounted prices that their members will pay to receive care and services.

So, when you’re choosing a plan you may want to use the Health Costs section of this site to do some comparisons of sample services to see how the cost varies from plan to plan before you decide.

Reduce your share of the cost

When you are paying out-of-pocket toward your deductible or for your share of co-insurance, you’ll pay less when the cost of the service is less. The amount you pay can be very different depending on the provider or facility you use because the price that providers or facilities charge for the same health service can vary considerably. This is true among in-network providers, and among out-of-network providers.

If you don’t have insurance, you may be responsible for more of your costs

Without insurance, you may have to pay the full charge for services yourself. Comparing costs can still help you save, because you’ll pay less when the cost of services is less.

It pays to shop around, when you can

Obviously, in an emergency you’re not going to take the time to shop around. But, if you are looking for care today, need a new doctor, or are scheduling a procedure that doesn’t need to happen immediately, you can save a lot by doing some comparisons.

Helpful Tip

Use the Health Costs section of this site to compare costs at various providers/facilities and under different health plans.


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