"Speak Out" is an expression of opinion from the Editorial Board of WBTV, and is presented by General Manager, Nick Simonette.
Used to be when you had a serious illness you needed an operation, your family doctor would simply send you to your preferred health care facility.
And then your company-provided insurance would pick up the tab for it all.
Well, times have changed drastically.
Now you have to think about "in-network" versus "out of network," high-deductible policies, and copays on about everything.
Bottom line, you're now having to pay a lot more for your healthcare.
The problem is, you don't often know how much a medical procedure is going to cost until after you've had it.
And then you're stuck with the bill.
Well, Blue Cross/Blue Shield has come out with an on-line tool that helps you compare prices from various providers.
You simply plug in a few pieces of information – anonymously – and out comes a list.
The differences in providers can be dramatic.
For instance, a "Screening Colonoscopy" can range from as low of $851 to a high of $8,170 – a difference of 960 percent!
Now, of course, price is only one reason to choose a provider.
But we think this can be an invaluable tool for consumers looking to get the best medical care, while keeping significant dollars in their pockets.
And we commend Blue Cross/Blue Shield for their efforts.