As you all know, we love health savings accounts! We’re constantly keeping our ear to the ground to stay aware of the “latest and greatest” tools and trends available to help people get the most out of their HSA. The good news, is the consumer-driven healthcare industry is exploding with innovative ideas, products and services to help solve some of the challenges people are facing with their health insurance policies and/or HSA/FSA/HRA plans.
Sometimes these programs/services cost money, and sometimes they’re completely free…which is exactly what we wanted to focus on in this post! Here’s a quick review of 3 of our favorite free tools and services to help you get everything you can out of your consumer-driven healthcare plan and specifically, your health savings account.
#1: Simplee: Simplee is a free online service that does exactly what its name says it does…makes all your complicated healthcare and insurance information “simple”. Just create your free account at their website, and tie in any relevant services you need to simplify…like your health insurance account and/or your health savings account information. By doing this, you are essentially creating one “hub” where you can login and view all your information in one place. Simplee takes it from there.
They display all the information in each of these accounts in very visual, easy-to-understand charts, and graphs, and lay out complicated insurance jargon in simple everyday terms. Need to better understand your “Explanation of Benefits” (EOB)? Or need to see what services are covered and what services aren’t? Login to Simplee and check. Need to track your medical bills for the year and see how close you are to your deductible? Log in to Simplee and view one of the many charts or graphs for a quick update. You can even pay those medical bills directly from within Simplee by tying in your credit card.
Screenshot from Simplee Dashboard
This is brilliant idea, and they do it very well. It’s easy to understand why they’ve filled a huge void in this industry by empowering the consumer, which is exactly what consumer-driven healthcare and health savings accounts are all about. They are an excellent service, and we highly recommend them.
#2: Healthcare Blue Book: One of the major cornerstones to consumer-driven healthcare and health savings accounts, is that the consumer is supposed to be in charge of their healthcare spending. When you’re looking to go to the doctor for a procedure, you should be well aware of what is covered by your insurance (see Simplee above) and how much each procedure should cost. This affords you a couple luxuries: comparison shopping, and peace of mind you’re not being overbilled. But how can you possibly do any of that without knowing what these procedures actually cost? This is where Healthcare Blue Book comes in.
Screenshot from Healthcare Blue Book
Just visit their website, and put in whatever procedure you need to get at the doctor’s office. They have quite an extensive list of procedures, and you can even specify the pricing down by your zip code if you want. So, from the homepage, either type the procedure in the search box or narrow your search down using the category tabs at the top (Hospital, Physician, Dental, etc.). Put in anything from flu vaccines to full coronary bypass surgeries, and get a detailed pricing list of that procedure’s fair market value. At this point, you can even print off a “detailed pricing agreement” for both you and your physician to sign, solidifying the amount you’re both willing to agree on for that individual procedure.
It’s important to remember that because you’re utilizing your health savings account, and paying upfront or in cash, the doctor’s office doesn’t need to worry about billing you. This gives you some leverage and some flexibility in the price negotiations for your doctor’s office visit. For some strange reason, even the most seasoned health savings account holders still sometimes don’t realize that healthcare costs are negotiable! Be sure to remember this when you’re headed into your doctor’s office next time. Armed with healthcare blue book, you’ll be sure you’re getting a fair market value, and you won’t be overbilled.
#3: Free Healthcare Discount Card: Ok, we may have a slight bias on this one, but it is something that can save you an exorbitant amount of money nonetheless. This last item is our Free Healthcare Discount Card, and it is available for anyone to print directly from our website. This card instantly saves you up to 70% on Pharmacy, Dental, Vision, Hearing & Medical Lab Testing. Just visit our website, and click on the program you’re interested in saving money on. From there, you’ll be able to locate local providers by zip code and contact them to see how much you can save on that procedure at their office.
Let’s take a prescription you need filled, as an example. Visit our website, click on “Pharmacy” and then navigate to “Locate a local pharmacy”. You can put in your zip code to find all the pharmacies that support the program in your area, and type in your actual drug name to get pricing on your prescription. We’re willing to bet you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how much you’ll save on almost any prescription you’ve got, even against any pharmacy discount card provided to you by your insurance carrier.
Screenshot of Pharmacy Locator
I personally experienced this myself not too long ago, at a local Rite-Aid here in Boise, ID. I had a seasonal allergy and needed to get a prescription filled. I handed both my insurance carrier’s discount card and American Health Value’s discount card to the pharmacist and told her to run both to compare the discounts.
The findings were as follows: with no insurance (neither card) I would have paid roughly $120. With my insurance carrier’s card, I would have paid in the ball park of $70. With American Health Value’s discount card, I paid $29. This is because we have a direct relationship with these healthcare/pharmaceutical providers and we’re not skimming off the top, which results in substantial savings for anyone that carries this discount card.
Look at it this way, the cash price was $120, and the insurance carrier’s price was $70, making you think you get some great discount for carrying your policy’s “pharmacy discount card”. Which really makes you wonder where the difference between the $70 and the actual cost of the drug, which was $29, ends up doesn’t it?
Jump out to our website to learn more about the programs, to locate participating local providers, and to print your free healthcare discount card today! You can even share it with friends and family, or pass it along to the less-fortunate, as there’s no insurance policy or HSA required to use it.
That sums up our 3 favorite tools for helping you get the most out of your health savings account. We hope you found something new in this post you can utilize, and as always, we appreciate your feedback! Is there a free service you’re aware of that we didn’t mention? Have any thoughts on the ones we spoke about? Let us know in the comments below!
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