February 2013 Issue
January 31, 2013

Simple ways you can reduce your health care costs

Author: Susan Klug
Source: NYSUT United
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NYSUT members are frustrated with the increasing cost of health care premiums, co-pays and deductibles. How can being a more educated consumer change this?

1. Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield estimates that upstate New Yorkers could save more than $700 million each year if they used the generic alternatives of 35 brand-name prescriptions expected to be available this year. According to Excellus, the retail cost for a three-day supply of Plavix®is about $230; a generic version may cost about $10.

2. The cost for a service may vary significantly depending on where the service is rendered. According to MVP Health Plan, for example, radiology and laboratory tests performed at an outpatient department of a hospital can be three to four times more costly than if performed in a physician's office or free-standing facility. Also, some plans enforce a higher co-pay for treatment at a hospital.

It is not always easy or practical to seek alternatives, but members are encouraged to contact their health insurer and ask their physicians about medical care options.

— Susan Klug

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