The following blog post can be found originally on Save On Medical’s Blog:

High Deductible Health Plans (noun)

Definition- Health insurance option designed to save companies money on premiums, create “consumer-driven” health plans, often coupled with tax-exempt Health Savings Accounts.

Results in: patients paying heaps of money out-of-pocket, financed retirement plans, increased patient awareness of care, price shopping.
Statistics: 2008: 6.8 Million HDHP Accounts 2012: Over 10 Million HDHP Accounts

You ask for cheap MRIs and low cost mammograms, we tell you “no problem.”  We pride ourselves on our accurate yet innovative Docometer scoring system and the ability to provide patients with the best cash pay pricing options on the market, but what about that patient population with those High Deductible Health Plans, how do they Save On Medical?

We have laid out a number of tricks and “rules,” if you will, for you High Deductible Health Plan patients, with yourHealth Savings Accounts and price-sensitive emotions:

Rule 1 to Saving On Medical: Never Commoditize Your Care
Remember that just because your deductible is high, does not mean that you need to pick and choose the services you think you really need. Yes, you’re paying out of pocket, but no, that should not limit the capacity of your care.

Rule 2 to Saving On Medical: Shop Like You’re Paying Cash
Be aware of pricing transparency by price shopping as a cash pay patient. By understanding what those without insurance are paying up front for the service, you can evaluate your payment options with an open mind.

Rule 3 to Saving On Medical: Compare the Prices of Care
Never simply pick a location because they have a cheap MRI or low cost CT scan.  Take the time to review the other factors that contribute to the facilities Docometer score.  Ask yourself questions like, “Do I care that the radiologist isn’t on-site?” “This site has brand new technology but it is more expensive, does that matter?”

Rule 4 to Saving On Medical: Be An Informed Patient
The algorithm we have created for the Docometer score is reliable; however never blindly submit to any decision that can literally change your life.  Do the appropriate research so that when you are comparing the prices of care you make a decision based on the factors that are most important to you as a patient. Also, keep a record of your costs and be aware of where your money is going.

Rule 5 to Saving On Medical: Call Your Insurance Provider

The geniuses behind the High Deductible Health Plans can and will work with you if you reach out to them. Depending on the company, they might be able to provide specific claim forms and authorizations that will allow them to approve your cash-pay purchases and put them towards your deductible.  Whenever you are willing to pay upfront, the insurance company and the radiology facility are going to be itching to help you out.

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