Are you Overpaying Your Doctors?

To reduce medical payments, people should check with their insurance companies to get an estimate of how much they might owe after their deductibles, copayments and coinsurance are taken into account, says Joan Budden, chief marketing officer for Priority Health, an integrated health delivery system.

Priority Health is among the insurance companies making it easier for patients to compare prices before they go in to see a doctor. The company is working with Healthcare Bluebook, a website that analyzes rates negotiated by insurance companies, to show members what a service might cost at one hospital versus another before they get care. The insurer is planning to introduce a tool for customers later this year that tells them exactly what they would pay out of pocket for a service after factoring in those components of their plan.