LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - The pandemic isn’t the only reason some people are skipping out on medical care.
A 2020 survey reports nearly 1 in 4 Americans say they have steered clear of some sort of medical care because of the expense.
The federal Hospital Price Transparency rule went into effect at the beginning of the year, as required by the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Both UMC and Covenant now have online pricing tools, where you can get an estimated cost before scheduling an appointment.
Terrell Thrasher, with UMC, says this comes at a crucial time for many needing services.
“Patients are having a harder time than ever affording healthcare. And many of the employer plans have opted for higher deductibles and co-pays and so that’s shifted the amount that is falling on the employees to pay,” Thrasher said.
You’ll need to know your insurance carrier, maximum deductible and amounts applied to it for the year, maximum out of pocket for your plan, and the procedure or test to be performed.
“They can deal with it early on and have that burden lifted before they ever have that procedure or that test done. So, they can go home and heal and not have to worry about their financial situation at that point,” Thrasher said.
Covenant Health suggests patients use this information to shop around and compare prices.
In a statement, it calls the tool part of a larger set of actions needed to lower overall health care costs.
Thrasher emphasizes it will get you in the ballpark of the price of your procedure, but there can be unique costs that can’t always be anticipated.
You can find the UMC pricing tool here.
You can find the Covenant pricing tool here.