No more surprises on your hospital bill

September 12, 2017 | by Mary Lou Mastro

In the past, we rarely thought about how much it was going to cost to get needed medical care.

If you had an emergency, needed an X-ray or your child needed a lab test, you just got it done and waited for the bill.

These days, it’s not so simple. The cost of healthcare is rising, along with insurance deductibles. As patients, we’d like to know how big of a dent the service will put in our savings account before we agree to it.

At Edward-Elmhurst Health, we get that. And we’re rolling out a new tool that will help you plan ahead when it comes to healthcare costs.

This cost estimator tool, the first of its kind in the Chicago area, will help remove some of the unknown so patients can focus on their health. On our website, EEHealth.org, you simply select the service you need, enter your insurance information, and the tool will estimate your out-of-pocket cost.

Through the tool, you can receive cost estimates for MRIs, CAT scans, ultrasounds, X-Rays, echocardiograms, stress tests, nuclear medicine exams, cardiology and lab services.

Your deductible’s remaining balance, coinsurance percentage and any copay requirements will be used along with your insurance’s allowable amount (also referred to as the negotiated contract rates) for the test you are inquiring about, to create a patient cost estimate.

Some services not currently included in the tool include inpatient stays, observation stays/visits, ER visits, Immediate Care visits and professional fees (separate charges from our affiliated providers, such as radiologists and anesthesiologists). We will continue to add new tests and procedures to this tool over time.

If you need an estimate for a service that’s not listed on the website, you may call the phone number on the website and our price estimation team can provide pricing information.

Your estimated cost could be slightly different, depending on your physician’s order or if there are complications, adjustments or added services during your exam or procedure.

In the past, when people have called to ask what services will cost, it’s been difficult to figure out. Everyone has a different insurance plan, and we haven’t traditionally had access to deductible information.

Now, you can see what you will probably pay first. No more surprises.

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