WBTV Speak Out Editorial: Comparing Medical Prices

WBTV Speak Out Editorial: Comparing Medical Prices

"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.

Tell us what you think, SpeakOut@wbtv.com.