Friday, July 1, 2011

Shop Around for Family Health

Most families assume that health care costs what it costs, and that all medical centers in their area basically charge the same fees.

Yet a new study shows that the price for medical procedures can vary widely even for clinics within the same 20 mile radius -- by as much as 683%! One provider may charge as little as $230 for a CT scan, while another in the same town may charge $1800. This can affect a family's portion of the bill, especially those whose co-pays are based on percentages rather than a fixed rate.

"Don't assume that the provider you are going to is the best economic deal," says Howard McClure, CEO of Change:Healthcare. For those who are on a tight budget, it may pay to do a little price comparison. Call around ahead of time and ask different clinics what the base price is for things such as X-rays or a CT scan, so you know where to go for the best rates on basic care.

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