Blue Access for Employers

How Much Things Actually Cost

Often times, health care consumers don't have a clear understanding of just how much medical services cost. For many years, health plans protected members from the true cost of these services by making payments directly to doctors or hospitals. Did you know, for example, that the average cost of an MRI is nearly $2,000 and that heart bypass surgery costs about $57,000? Or that the average cost of a 30-day prescription of one name brand drug is $72 compared to $22 for the generic equivalent?

National health care expenditures are expected to nearly double over the next 10 years. That's largely due to the increased use and cost of prescription drugs, advances in medical technology and treatments, hospital equipment and services, increased specialty care, over-use of emergency rooms for non-emergency needs, and other factors.

By understanding how much things actually cost, we can make more informed decisions and help take steps to curb the rising cost of health care. Ask your doctor about generic drugs instead of a more expensive name brand. Make sure you're getting the right treatment, and always ask your doctor if you have any questions. Review all medical bills for accuracy, and ask about any costs you don't recognize or understand.

Knowing what you're spending, and keeping an eye on health care costs, are important parts of keeping health care affordable for all of us.