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Shopping Around:

Your Guide to Getting the Best Price on Expensive Medical Procedures

If you carry traditional healthcare coverage and still find yourself shopping around to save money on expensive medical procedures, let this be your guide.

Here are some of the preventative procedures (such as mammograms and colonoscopies) that make sense to shop around for and how the practice relates to being a part of a healthcare cost-sharing community.

Healthcare Trends

Liberty HealthShare is a non-profit healthcare sharing ministry. We are not insurance, but provide you the opportunity to team with a group of people who share your same Christian values and desire for more affordable healthcare.

Members share one another’s medical expenses. Monthly contributions are voluntary gifts. Liberty HealthShare serves only to facilitate this mutual sharing. We direct your gifts to those who have eligible expenses. Sharing Members regularly participate each month by contributing at least the suggested Monthly Share Amount.

Procedures to Shop Around For:

Colonoscopies

Screenings for colon cancer are an important aspect of preventative healthcare. If you don’t have health insurance, there are still ways to acquire this life-saving screening at a low cost:

  1. Compare colonoscopy costs in your area.
  2. ColoscopyAssist is a service that provides low-cost colonoscopies in 35 U.S.  states. One may be near you.

  3. Learn about financial assistance from the Colorectal Cancer Alliance.
  4. Instead of going to the hospital, go to a less expensive ambulatory surgery center.
  5. Inquire about a self-pay discount and payment plan with your gastroenterologist.

Colonoscopies can cost as much as $3,000—even with conventional healthcare coverage. But you may cut your costs to as low as $1,000 by shopping around.

Although a colonoscopy may appear to be expensive, most people only need one every 10 years. And the financial cost of a colonoscopy is insignificant when compared to the potential financial and emotional impact of colon cancer treatment.

Mammograms

The cost of mammography is determined by the type of procedure you have as well as other factors such as your geographic location. Depending on where you live, a 2D mammography might cost anywhere from $100 to $400. A 3D mammography is considerably more expensive.

How to get a mammogram at a low cost

You may be eligible for free or low-cost screenings if you meet these qualifications:

  • You don’t have health insurance or your health insurance doesn’t cover screening exams.
  • Your annual income is 250% or less of the federal poverty threshold.
  • You are between 40 and 64 years of age for breast cancer screening.
  • For cervical cancer screening, you must be between the ages of 21 and 64.

Low-cost mammograms are also available through the following programs and clinics:

  1. For women who satisfy specific criteria, the CDC’s National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program offers free or low-cost mammograms.
  2. To discover low-cost testing near you, call the Susan G. Komen Breast Care Helpline at 1-877-465-6636.
  3. Breast exams are available at Planned Parenthood, as well as referrals to mammography centers.

Breast exams increase the likelihood of early detection of breast cancer. Breast cancer is easier to treat the earlier it is discovered.

Ultrasound

An abdominal ultrasound often costs $200-$650 or more for those without health insurance, depending on the practitioner and where you live.

Ultrasound services are available at some clinics. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services maintains a database of clinics that offer sliding-scale discounts based on income. Uninsured and self-pay patients can receive savings of up to 30% or more at hospitals and imaging centers.

Your family doctor may be able to make a referral to a hospital or imaging center near you. Or you can try the American College of Radiology’s ZIP code locator. In ultrasound operations, all facilities are ACR-accredited.

Prescriptions

If you’re one of the 28 million people in the United States who don’t have health insurance, shopping around for pharmaceuticals is critical.

Websites such as GoodRx, Optum, Blink Health, and Amazon Pharmacy can help you find discounts. Liberty HealthShare also offers members a similar program: HealthShareRx.

According to the GoodRx research team, prices for nearly 670 medications increased already this year. They climbed by an average of 5% this year, including generics.

While you can’t use GoodRx in conjunction with your insurance to reduce your cost, it may be less expensive than your co-pay — especially if you have a high deductible health plan (HDHP).

You Control Your Healthcare

If you’re taking care of yourself by eating right and exercising, then getting preventative medical procedures should also be a part of your personal healthcare plan.

Medical cost-sharing plans are based on the idea of giving you control over your healthcare, including seeking the best prices on procedures and prescriptions. Choose the doctors and specialists you want to see in a healthshare ministry. You’re not going to pick a provider off of a list just to find out it will set you back hundreds of dollars anyway. Everything is up to you to decide.

If you’re going to have to shop around anyway, why not pay less, both monthly and annually? Our members work with fair-priced providers and have access to resources that assist them in identifying excellent treatment and cost-cutting opportunities in healthcare.

There are numerous healthcare sharing programs from which to choose. All of the solutions are not only reasonable but are also tailored to your specific needs.

And at Liberty HealthShare, we include access to Healthcare Bluebook with all of our memberships. Healthcare Bluebook is an excellent resource for finding the best healthcare at the most affordable price. It uncovers the cost and provides you the opportunity for large savings through comparison shopping. You could end up saving thousands on a single procedure. 

 

Ready To Save On Healthcare Costs?