GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Priority Health's cost estimator tool is saving members an average of $1,000. Since the tool launched in 2015, the tool has saved the provider $6.3 million.
The savings are significant, given the increases in medical costs.
For example, you can save an average of $5,000 on an arthroscopic rotator cuff repair or $800 on a brain MRI, depending on the facility you select.
The tool provides specific cost estimates, including out of-pocket expenses to all commercial members based on their specific plan benefits, which makes it unique compared to competing tools.
The procedures available in the cost estimator are the ones that are most relevant to most people, so in some cases, those procedures vary in cost.
Most medical insurers provide some form of cost estimating tool, but Priority Health's tool makes estimates based on members' benefits, says Nathan Foco, senior director of market intelligence at Priority Health.
"Most consumers want personalization, and that's the path we took with what we provide," Foco said.
Priority Health hopes to expand the services it provides to include prescription drug costs in the near future.
Blue Cross Blue Shield also has a cost estimator tool available online and through their mobile app.