HEALTHCARE COST COMPARISON TOOLS & MOBILE APPS
Health Insurance is one of the most substantial expenses for many families in the United States – as the average cost of a family medical plan now exceeds $22,000 annually. With regulatory changes such as the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 (CAA), healthcare providers are now required to post lists of prices publicly for certain services (which were previously confidential). In July of 2021, The Wall Street Journal reviewed hospital pricing disclosures obtained by Turquoise Health, a pricing-transparency startup focused on gathering data from hospital websites. In its analysis, the Wall Street Journal discovered that cost for the exact same procedure can fluctuate drastically – depending on which hospital is selected and what type of insurance plan the patient has. Additionally, the CAA requires all group health insurers to keep plan provider directories up to date. Health insurers are offering various tools to help members find care and compare costs. Many insurers are using mobile apps to help members search for care wherever they are. Saunders insurance Agency has explored mobile apps and cost comparison tools available from Southeastern Ohio’s major health insurance companies. Below is a summary of tools to help customers search available providers and estimate costs.
SYDNEY HEALTH® MOBILE APP - ANTHEM BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD
The Sydney Health mobile app from Anthem offers members one place to keep track of their health and benefits. Sydney Health offers quick access to tools:
- FIND CARE: Search for doctors, hospitals, & other healthcare professionals in your plan’s network and compare costs. You can filter searches by provider name, specialty, procedure, gender, languages spoken, location – or what is most important to you
- VIRTUAL CARE - Connect directly to care from the convenience of home through the Sydney Health app. Virtual support options include:
o LiveHealth Online: Doctors available on demand 24/7 to assess conditions, give medical advice, and send prescriptions to the pharmacy of choice, if needed. Sleep specialists and allergy specialists are also available
o Mental Health Support from LiveHealth Online: Talk to a therapist or psychiatrist for support on managing your medication. In most cases, you can set up a secure visit seven days a week
o Future Moms Breastfeeding Support: Schedule live video visits with a registered dietitian, consultant, experienced in providing support on lactation and nutrition.
- LIVE CHAT: Find answers quickly with the Live Chat tool in Sydney Health’s interactive chat feature or talk to an Anthem representative
- MY HEALTH DASHBOARD: News on health topics of interest, health & wellness tips, and personalized action plans to help reach your health goals.
- COMMUNITY RESOURCES: Resource center helps connect with organizations offering free & reduced-cost programs to help with challenges such as food, transportation, and childcare.
SmartShopper® - ANTHEM BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD
With SmartShopper, Anthem members can find the best value for high-quality care by offering an incentive and engagement program that guides employees to cost-effective health care. Healthcare costs for the same test or procedure can vary by hundreds or even thousands of dollars from one healthcare provider to the next. SmartShopper makes it easy for members to compare cost and quality information for common health procedures. Members receive cash rewards from SmartShopper by using healthcare providers known for producing high-quality outcomes at lower costs.
UnitedHealthcare® App - UNITED HEALTHCARE
The UnitedHealthcare app puts your health at your fingertips wherever you go – offering instant access to your health plan details. With the UnitedHealthcare App, members can access tools for:
- FIND CARE: Search network care options for doctors, clinics and hospitals in your area and view reviews and ratings for doctors.
- COST ESTIMATES: View personalized cost estimates to see how much you can expect your specific plan to pay. Compare average costs for providers in your network, including doctors, hospitals, office visits, mental health services, labs, convenience care and more. View the average cost for specific treatments by area, and look up quality ratings and reviews by provider, hospital, or facility.
- VIRTUAL VISITS: Talk to a doctor by video chat 24/7 through UnitedHealthcare App’s Virtual Visit options
o UHC National Virtual Visit Providers: 24/7 Virtual Visits available through Optum Virtual Care, Teladoc, Amwell and Doctor on Demand
o Mental Health Care: Find a provider you trust to help support your mental health or use Telehealth Services for support. UHC also offers Talkspace Online Therapy access for eligible members.
- SANVELLO: UHC offers an on-demand emotional support mobile app called Sanvello® available to anyone to help you cope with stress, anxiety and depression.
- PLAN MANAGEMENT: Generate and share digital health plan ID cards, view claims, or manage prescription drugs and refills
- COST MANAGEMENT: View your copay, annual deductible and out-of-pocket expenses on the app. You can also view savings account balances if your plan is a Health Savings Account, Health Reimbursement Account, or Flexible Spending Account
- PERSONAL HEALTH SUPPORT: Proactive care management program designed to enhance engagement, improve health and drive down costs
UnitedHealthcare Healthy Pregnancy® App - UNITED HEALTHCARE
The UnitedHealthcare Healthy Pregnancy app gives you tools to track your pregnancy, week by week, set appointment reminders, meditate with your baby and more. If you get your health insurance through your employer, the app may be included in your benefit plan
MedMutual App - MEDICAL MUTUAL OF OHIO
Medical Mutual of Ohio’s MedMutual Mobile App offers members easy access to healthcare information—wherever and whenever you want it. The MedMutual App offers members access to:
- FIND A PROVIDER: Members can use their mobile device’s GPS to find the nearest doctor, hospital or urgent care facility covered with their plan. MedMutual App also provides directions from your current location. Members can now also view quality and patient ratings for providers.
- MY CARE COMPARE: With the MedMutual app’s My Care Compare feature, you can view cost estimates before you go to the doctor.
- TRACK CLAIMS & SPENDING: Review your claims online, including details about the total amount billed, what Medical Mutual paid and what you are responsible for paying. You can also view other spending information, like your deductible, out-of-pocket costs and EOBs.
- ACCESS ID CARDS: You always have your ID card with you with the MedMutual app. View the front and back of your card and call any of the phone numbers listed with just a tap. You can also email and fax your card to your provider
The Aetna Health App - AETNA
The Aetna Health App from Aetna offers an easier way to manage health benefits by:
- FIND CARE: Find in-network providers near you and search by location or specialty
- COMPARE COSTS: Compare cost estimates for doctor visits and procedures
- VIEW CLAIMS: View, filter and pay claims for your whole family
- VIEW SPENDING: See benefits and coverage details specific to your plan and Track spending progress towards meeting deductibles
- BENEFITS: Pull up your ID card whenever you need it
- RECOMMENDATIONS: Receive personalized recommendations to help improve your health
The Attain by Aetna® app - AETNA
The Attain by Aetna® app combines your health history with your Apple Watch® activity to offer personalized goals, achievable actions, and rewards— like an Apple Watch or gift cards from popular retailers.
MyPlan Mobile App - THE HEALTH PLAN
The Health Plan’s MyPlan Mobile App app is everything you need to manage your health insurance offering:
- Access your ID cards
- Find the perfect doctor
- Track copays and deductibles
- View claims
- View your coverage
Find plan documents for important information