30 Second Insurance Tips©

Tip #346 – How Do You Get The Horse To Drink?

I was reminded again this week of the many resources available to consumers wanting to know the cost of health care before incurring services.
In many cases, health insurers have created robust websites to provide this kind of information. Insiders report however, only about 5% of members access it. Why is that? (“You can lead a horse to water . . . “)
Particularly in the case of routine scans and tests, why do individuals just go where their PCP tells them to go?
Consider the emergence of independent patient advocacy companies often hired by larger self-funded employers to provide concierge type access to cost and quality information for their covered employees. Throw in some cash incentives and utilization jumps to 30-40%. Example: a colonoscopy is $3,400 at provider A and $1,600 at provider B. An employee going to provider B might receive a $200 gift card or an extra deposit to their HSA.
Strategies like this may have originated with big business, but as discussed in Tip #327, they’re available now to companies of all sizes.
You just need the right “jockey!”