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Insurer will reward patients for procedure bargain-hunting



What’ll you give me for an appendectomy?

A Michigan health insurance company, Priority Health, is giving members more incentive to shop around before their next  visits to physicians and hospitals.

Priority Health  will reward patients up to $200 for choosing  lower-priced medical procedures through the insurer’s new cost-estimating tool, which lets patients understand what a procedure  might  cost and how they could pay less under their insurance plan.

Policyholders  who shop around for lower prices could get a Visa gift card for $50 to  $200 through the PriorityRewards program.

“[Some of} These are very expensive procedures and providing them $200 back on a $4,000 procedure just makes good business sense,” Joan Budden, chief marketing officer of Priority Health, told 24 Hour News 8.

The station reports  that patients can find the “fair market price”  for a specific service to make sure they’re getting a good price using Healthcare Bluebook, an independent company that makes statewide comparisons of pricing and quality on healthcare facilities and procedures.

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