Members covered by the State Employee Health Benefit have a new Anthem feature at their disposal if you’re trying to schedule a medical procedure. Anthem’s “Estimate Your Cost” tool is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: it allows you to shop for providers by price and procedure within a ZIP code. It will also show a Site of Service option if one is available.
You can find it by visiting anthem.com. Once you log in, you can click on the “Estimate Your Cost” link, which allows you to browse or enter a search term. You’ll get all the cost information that is available. The one potential problem with this tool is that it may provide too much information and not enough context for that information. Regardless, the feature is worth checking out and adding to your health insurance toolkit.
Another tool to remember is Vitals SmartShopper, which also helps you shop around but gives you cash rewards for choosing the most cost-effective option for a procedure or diagnostic test. If you’re not checking SmartShopper every time you have a procedure or diagnostic test, you’re throwing away money. You can read more about SmartShopper on the state’s website.