Price Transparency Courtesy of HealthPocket

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Always working to provide resources for better consumerism in health care, we decided it would be beneficial to provide our patients and readers with insight into other helpful health care start-ups. Thinking about the patients who come to our site in need of self-pay prices or affordable medical services, we decided the first start-up to highlight, needed to be a follow-up resource for those patients whose next step would be selecting a coverage plan after they realize they will need additional care, post-procedure. 

Enter HealthPocket.com; a brand new and still in Beta website for individuals in need of price and quality transparency for insurance plans.  Considering our similar missions towards transparency, we were pretty excited to speak with Steve Zaleznick, Director for Consumer Strategy and Development at HealthPocket.

The people of HealthPocket have all had different experiences as far as health care and insurance goes, however it seems that their comprehensive combination of knowledge is what makes the site so beneficial to patients. “We saw the future, the desire for transparency and easy navigation from the consumer-side of things, which is why we’re doing this,” commented Zaleznick when we asked how they got started with HealthPocket.  After only being live since October 15, 2012, it is already clear that the work Zaleznick’s team is doing for patients will prove transformative. 

The ability to show the prices and quality scores for so many plan options is impressive. So we were interested to learn how they came up with those metrics. Quality is often what consumers care most about, so at HealthPocket, their entire team of insurance professionals, data experts and consumer strategists have spent innumerable hours examining the factors and components that determine the quality of a plan.  Zaleznick says, “We take into consideration; rejection rates, plan details, best practices, consumer reviews, specialized formulas of quality and coverage and the components of quality most people do not even think to consider.”

Patients can then compare prices of various plans while taking into consideration the quality of each plan. The prices are reflective of HealthPocket’s most current data and are not just estimates, unlike many other websites that do not provide accurate pricing. Visitors can also get more customized, accurate pricing by providing personalized information such as gender, age, location and health risks.

The plan listings allow patients to view the quality score, monthly premium, plan type, deductible, coinsurance and approximate out-of-pocket limit in addition to easily understood icons pointing out which facets of care the plan is meant to cover whether that be prescription drugs, dental, vision or maternity care.

It is a little too early to tell the types of individuals who are utilizing the site most often, however it seems that it will be extremely beneficial for newly eligible Medicare patients, advisors and young professionals.  HealthPocket’s goal is to be easily accessible for consumers, not just insurance professionals, which is why they are so focused on the user-friendly nature of their website. They have produced a spectacular patient resource that is clear, simple and open; showing all insurance choices so the consumer has the control.

So if you’re in need of health care coverage or a new insurance plan and don’t know where to start, HealthPocket is the site for you.