What are price comparison tools?
Think about the last time you went shopping for a new car. You go to the dealership, find the one you like, maybe take it for a test drive, and then talk pricing. But typically you don't just buy it right then and there. You shop around first.
Makes sense, right? A car is a big, expensive, potentially life-changing purchase.
So why don’t we take the same approach to healthcare? It’s big, it’s expensive, and it definitely has the potential to change your life. (In fact, employers and employees are already spending about as much on healthcare coverage as they would on a new car each year – around $22,221.) But with healthcare, most people just accept “the first offer.”
And that’s for good reason – healthcare prices are nearly impossible to find. No one has the time to go digging for them. So instead, most of us do the same thing: go see a doctor, then brace ourselves for the bill.
But there’s another (better) way. With price comparison benefits, we finally have the tools and info at our fingertips to actually shop around for healthcare. Using these tools, your employees can be sure they’re getting the best bang for their buck, without sacrificing quality of care.
Price comparison tools provide a side-by-side comparison of a wide range of healthcare providers and services (and their price tags) to help patients make a decision. With these tools, employees can compare:
- Premium prices
- Deductible costs
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Prescription drug costs
- Non-emergency surgery costs
A recent survey found that about 50% of Americans have sought out a price before seeking out care. 20% said they used a price comparison tool.
How do employees use price comparison tools?
Here’s how it works: start by entering some basic information into the tool, like zip code, insurance coverage, and the type of care you’ll need. Using this info, the tool will generate a list of providers that match your needs, as well as what they’ll charge you for the service you’re looking for.
Then you can choose the provider that looks best to you, based on price and quality. It’s that simple.
How do price comparison tools impact employees?
It’s pretty simple: people should know what they are going to pay before they get the care they need. It’s just good financial planning. After all, who buys something that big before knowing what it costs?
Unfortunately, the way we pay for healthcare can lead to huge financial setbacks. More than half of Americans carry at least $1,000 in medical debt. In fact, more Americans report being scared of medical costs than the illness itself.
Maybe you can’t guarantee their financial wellness across the board, but you can give them price comparison tools that help them fit healthcare into their budget. Budgeting and not having enough to cover emergency expenses contributes to stress and anxiety. But adding price comparison tools to your employees’ healthcare toolbox can help make budgeting easier.
Why should employers offer price comparison tools?
When your employees use their healthcare plans, employers take on a portion of the costs as well. So when they save money, your business does, too.
And those costs can add up. Your insurance carrier probably determines your annual premium increase based on utilization from the previous year. Premiums for employer-sponsored family health coverage rose 4% in 2021.
Saving money on healthcare can have a big impact on overall financial wellness — which can have a big impact on mental health and productivity. Most Americans agree that money can be a major contributor to stress or anxiety, and 93% of professional counselors agree that employees' debt affects productivity in the workplace.
What are the best healthcare price comparison tool providers?
We got you. Using the Nava Benefits Search Engine, you can explore a range of healthcare price comparison benefits providers — as well as 600+ vendors across 28 benefits categories — and get a quote for free.