Healthcare Costs

We all know healthcare costs in America are among the highest in the world, and it’s always a good idea to be able to see solid data that supports this.  The Commonwealth Fund is an organization that does valuable, non-partisan (without politics) studies to help educate us about what our healthcare system is giving us for both cost and quality. You can also look at data & charts that explain how our healthcare system is performing, based on cost, quality and outcomes.  Here is a quote from their recent study on costs and value that summarizes where we’re at.

“While the United States spends more on health care than any other country, we are not achieving comparable performance. We have poor health outcomes, including low life expectancy and high suicide rates, compared to our peer nations..."

As the cost of healthcare and health insurance continue to rise at unsustainable levels, and patients face increasing 'out of network' and surprise bills, we hope you find the resources below helpful in reducing your out-of-pocket costs.

 

 Tips

New Hospital Price Transparency Law
Explanation of the details of the new law that went into effect on January 1, 2021. It requires hospitals to post prices for treatment and procedures. 

This booklet, from The American Hospital Association, is a good place to start in understanding billing and prices, and what questions to ask ahead of time: Understanding Healthcare Prices: A Consumer Guide

Always speak with your insurance company about your options, whether you need pre-authorization, what will be covered, what you will be responsible for, what is considered 'in-network'  or 'out of network' and what you can do to avoid any surprise medical bills.  Be sure to ask about any hospital visits that could be considered Observation stays' instead of "Inpatient stays.

Comparing Costs

New Hampshire Health Cost
Developed by the NH Insurance Department. Compare costs for various procedures and tests in NH, as well as insurance plans (under the ‘For Employers’ link). 

Clear Health Costs
A journalism company from NY City bringing transparency to the health care marketplace by telling people "what stuff costs".Using shoe-leather & data journalism, investigative reporting & consumer crowdsourcing, they provide health care pricing in partnership with other newsrooms. Enter a procedure & zip code to search price comparisons.

Fair Health Consumer
They use billions of medical claims to estimate what providers charge, and what insurers pay & make this information available to consumers, researchers, businesses and many other users.

Guroo
A non profit org. that compares costs to national averages for a variety of procedures and tests.

Healthcare Bluebook
Search by hospital, doctor, procedure or test. This site claims to help you save on out-of-pocket expenses by finding care that is more affordable. 

Patient Assist 
For uninsured, under-insured or those with high deductibles. This site has a program you can apply for that assists with negotiating the costs of procedures, tests or surgery.

Health Insurance

Health Insurance Patient Rights
Your rights and protections for healthcare coverage under federal laws.

Health Insurance Types
Types of health insurance available, including individual plans, COBRA, Disability and Long Term Care.

State Health Insurance Plans for Individuals & Families
Where to go if you are looking for an 'individual' health insurance plan for you and/or your family (one that is not employer-sponsored).  Open enrollment period is November 1 to December 15 in most states. However, if you have a ‘qualifying event’ like divorce, loss of employment or other, you may qualify to enroll before open enrollment.

NOTE: Under the new Biden Administration, open enrollment has been extended. Starting on February 15, 2021 and continuing through May 15, 2021.
Read more here


Medicaid & Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
Free or low-cost US government health insurance programs that cover many services like hospitalizations, doctor visits, and prescription drugs. If you qualify, your coverage can start right away, any time of year.

Medicare
Government-managed health insurance for people age 65 and over. Information on what is covered, available plans and how to apply.

Alternative Health Insurance Options & Insurance Broker Search
Maybe government-sponsored plans don't meet your needs.  Maybe you want a plan that covers you in several states. Then one option you have is to find a plan through a health insurance broker.  You can search for a broker by zip code here.

Financial Assistance 

Health Insurance

NH Access Plus 

For patients who are uninsured, this program guarantees a minimum 15% discount on the bills you receive from participating NH hospitals.

NH Health Access Network (NHHAN)
NHHAN is not an insurance program, but instead a discount program based on the applicant household’s income and assets.

Medications

Medicine Assistance Tool (MAT)

A search engine to search for financial assistance through the various biopharmaceutical industry programs available for patients who are eligible.

The NH Medication Bridge Program
Helps eligible uninsured and underinsured patients obtain medications directly from the pharmaceutical companies through their Patient Assistance Programs (PAPS).

Needy Meds
NeedyMeds is a national non-profit connecting people to programs that will help them afford their medications and other healthcare costs. 

Other Financial Assistance Programs
From the National Library of Medicine and Medline, a list of government and private financial assistance programs for a variety of health conditions.

 

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