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Consumerizing Health Care Cost Estimators

Posted on June 20, 2017

The growth in high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) in both the group and individual markets has shifted the costs of health services from health plan to consumers. Thus, there is a growing demand for cost and quality transparency when it comes to medical and health care services.

Consumers want transparency in health care just as they want transparency in shopping and dining. As platforms such as Yelp and Amazon continue to flourish, consumers will want health care to become a more overtly service-based industry, one in which consumer desires shape products. Most health plans already have responded to this, releasing health cost calculators to help demystify the costs of procedures.

Although all cost estimators are not created equal, the better ones, available through health plans like UnitedHealthcare, are excellent resources for customers interested in learning about and comparing the cost and quality of services provided by local practitioners. Health insurers here have an opportunity to sell plans not only based on plan benefits, premium cost and deductible amounts but also on the costs a customer may spend on a health care service. Similarly, a broker’s client relationship provides an advantage as they may know specific health care services and procedures their client uses or needs.

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