7 Sites to Help You Save Big on Medical Bills

What's Hot

23 Upgrades Under $50 to Make Your House Look AwesomeAround The House

Trump Worth $10 Billion Less Than If He’d Simply Invested in Index FundsBusiness

Do This or Your iPhone Bill May SkyrocketSave

11 Places in the World Where You Can Afford to Retire in StyleMore

19 Moves That Will Help You Retire Early and in StyleFamily

What You Need to Know for 2017 Obamacare EnrollmentFamily

8 Things Rich People Buy That Make Them Look DumbAround The House

50 Ways to Make a Fast $50 (or Lots More)Grow

32 of the Highest-Paid American SpeakersMake

The 35 Two-Year Colleges That Produce the Highest EarnersCollege

5 DIY Ways to Make Your Car Smell GreatCars

Amazon Prime No Longer Pledges Free 2-Day Shipping on All ItemsMore

More Caffeine Means Less Dementia for WomenFamily

7 Household Hacks That Save You CashAround The House

5 Reasons a Roth IRA Should Be Part of Your Retirement PlanGrow

30 Awesome Things to Do in RetirementCollege

Beware These 10 Retail Sales Tricks That Get You to Spend MoreMore

9 Tips to Ensure You’ll Have Enough to RetireFamily

Websites are providing more transparency about what you can expect to pay for medical procedures and prescription drugs.

This post comes from Gerri Detweiler at partner site Credit.com.

Need a CBC blood test? You might pay $16 at one New York lab – or $117 at another. How about an echocardiogram with Doppler? It may run you $250, or more than $2,000, depending on where you go.

One of the biggest frustrations about our current health care system is that there is little transparency. Insurance is partly to blame, because insured patients usually just focus on their deductibles and co-pays. But millions of consumers remain uninsured or have high deductibles, and even consumers with good health insurance may wind up paying hefty out-of-pocket medical bills.

Consumers with good insurance may also find lower prescription drug prices by shopping around and paying cash.

By collecting and crunching data that is becoming more widely available, health care-focused websites aim to make it easier for patients to research health care costs, and save money as a result. Here are seven sites you should know about.

To save on medical procedures

ClearHealthCosts.com. This start-up uses crowdsourcing along with old-fashioned research to compile actual data on how much certain health care procedures cost and, when available, how much insurers are paying. Search for the procedure you need and see price information from a variety of providers. Currently, information is available for New York, New Jersey, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

HealthCareBlueBook. Type a procedure into this search engine and you’ll get an estimate of what that procedure should cost. It doesn’t list specific providers’ prices, but instead lists what that service should cost. If you are willing to pay cash upfront for medical services, you can try to use these prices to negotiate.

HealthInReach. Browse the extensive database for the cost for procedures, then book online at the quoted rate. The site promises substantial savings for bypassing the insurance middleman. Services available for a quote appeared largely to include dental services and cosmetic procedures, however. This site does require a free membership and you will be asked to provide personal medical information, but you can still search if you bypass that page.

NewChoiceHealth. You’ll have to sign up for a free membership to use this site. By entering your ZIP code, you’ll automatically see a range of prices for procedures in your area. If you want to get a specific quote, you’ll have to fill out a quote request so providers can essentially “bid” on your business. You can also include your insurance information. You aren’t locked into the services for which you receive quotes.

OutofPocket.com. This site aggregates information from other public and government sites, as well as user-submitted price data. It can be time-consuming, as results come largely in the form of links to other sites. However, it can provide a starting point when researching costs for specific procedures.

To find cheaper prescription medications

GoodRX. Here you can compare what local pharmacies charge for a particular medication. For example, a search for Imitrex Statdose 6 mg (a popular medication for migraines) in my ZIP code in Florida found prices ranging from $141.91 to $322, both after a coupon provided on the site. It is easy to use, fast and appears to be comprehensive.

NeedyMeds. Find detailed information about programs that offer free and low-cost prescription drugs to those who can’t afford them. You can search for brand-name and generic drugs, as well as search “diagnostic base assistance” programs that may help with expenses, including drugs, insurance co-pays, office visits, transportation, nutrition, medical supplies, etc. There is also a discount prescription drug card available on the site. This site appears to be very robust, offering a great deal of information for those who need it most.

There are additional state and federal government websites that provide detailed health care cost information. However, many are not particularly user-friendly at this point. If you have health insurance, your insurer may also offer a free tool for estimating your cost for specific procedures.

More on Credit.com:

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!


Read Next: Sam’s Club Reveals Details of Black Friday, 5 Other Holiday Sales

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1,715 more deals!