Access to real-time health care costs saves $6.3 million

(Grand Rapids, Mich. - July 13, 2017) Efforts to unveil health care pricing to Priority Health members are paying off. Two years after the launch of its Cost Estimator tool, Priority Health reports $6.3 million in health care savings, reflecting both member and company savings. Members who used the tool saved an average of $1,000 to-date.

"We pride ourselves on providing smart, innovative solutions for our members," said Nathan Foco, senior director of market research and consumer analytics for Priority Health. "In an industry where consumers find costs unclear, Cost Estimator offers a remedy that puts the member in control of their costs and their care."

The tool provides Priority Health members instant access to cost information per facility for hundreds of health care procedures based on their individual health plan. For example, you can save an average of $5,330 on an arthroscopic rotator cuff repair, or $852 on a brain MRI, depending on the facility you select.

"Priority Health offers customized estimates for out-of-pocket costs based on each member's unique benefits," said Foco. "While we’re seeing success in the utilization of Cost Estimator, outpacing national averages for similar programs 4 to 11, our hope is to increase engagement with the tool to continue to drive down health care costs for our members."

High deductible health plans are becoming more popular, with enrollment increasing by 25 percent in the past 10 years. While high deductible plans typically have lower monthly premiums, consumers find themselves responsible for paying more in out-of-pocket costs for procedures and specialty visits, leading to a stronger desire for cost information.

Priority Health continues to enhance the tool to meet member demands, recently adding some of the most searched and billed procedures to Cost Estimator. The new procedures include behavior health, physical therapy, vaccinations, eye exams, dermatology visits, to name a few.

Members can access the tool by logging into their MyHealth account, then choosing the Cost Estimator tile.

1 Increasing Transparency Tool Effectiveness, Quantum Health

About Priority Health:

Priority Health is an award-winning, Michigan-based non-profit health plan nationally recognized for improving the health and lives of the people it serves. It continues to lead the industry in engaging members in their health, delivering effective health and disease management programs and working with physicians to improve health care outcomes and performance. Priority Health is one of only 20 health plans nationwide offering wellness programs accredited by the National Committee for Quality Assurance, an organization which also rated it among the best health plans in the nation. The State of Michigan named the Priority Health HMO the benchmark plan for all individual and group HMO plans to model.

Priority Health offers a broad portfolio of health benefit options for employer groups and individuals, including Medicare and Medicaid plans. Its network of health care providers features 95 percent of practicing physicians available in Michigan and more than 900,000 health care providers nationwide.