Unique cost-estimating tool now offers estimates for clinic, cardiac rehab and behavioral health services
OMAHA, Neb. – As policy makers debate how to control the rising costs of healthcare, most consumers simply want to know how much they’re going to have to pay the next time they go see the doctor. Alegent Health takes a transparent approach to cost through a patent-pending online tool that provides estimates for inpatient and outpatient tests, procedures and appointments – now including annual physicals, well-baby visits, mental/behavioral health services and cardiac rehab.
How to use My Cost:
- Make sure you have your deductible, co-insurance, out-of-pocket and applicable co-pay information available.
- Log on to Alegent.com and click the My Cost button on the right side of your screen.
- Enter your name and insurance payment information into the specified fields.
- If your insurance company is not listed, contact My Cost at 402-717-7935 to receive a cost estimate.
- If you do not have insurance, a series of questions will help determine if you are eligible for financial assistance.
- Select the Alegent Health procedure you need.
- Receive your out-of-pocket estimate or, if you choose to not use insurance, your estimated self-pay price.
Budgeting for Baby
Since the online tool, “My Cost,” debuted in 2007, it has helped answer the, “what’s it going to cost,” question nearly 50,000 times. For patients like Bridget and Scott Bear, that information proved very valuable. When the young couple learned they were pregnant with their first child, they knew they needed to baby-proof the house and start on the nursery – but they were also savvy enough to know that they needed to prepare a budget for the pregnancy. “We were enrolled in a Health Savings Account (HSA), which was a great choice when it was just the two of us because we’re fairly healthy and didn’t need a lot of coverage,” said Bridget. “But we just didn’t know how the plan would hold up to the costs of a pregnancy.
“That’s the beauty of My Cost,” said Alegent Health President and CEO Wayne Sensor. “Rather than rely on a generic list price, it takes into account each individual consumer’s actual health insurance plan or financial situation in order to provide personally-relevant cost information.”
The Bears say that because their “My Cost” estimate was accurate, when their son Lawson arrived this April, they were fully prepared to pay their hospital bills. “It really helped ease at least one of our fears about becoming parents,” said Bridget. “Now rather than looking back at all of the bills we have to pay, we are able to look ahead to what the future holds for our family.”
“My Cost” provides estimates for approximately 500 common tests, services and procedures – from childbirth to gastric bypass surgery. Recent enhancements now allow patients to search for cost information before they schedule a check-up with their family doctor, sign up for individual or family therapy sessions or join a cardiac rehabilitation program.
Throughout the My Cost program, consumers will find links directing them to relevant information about specific procedures, financial assistance options and additional tools like online bill pay and maternity pre-registration. Alegent Health also connects “My Cost” to detailed information about its quality scores, in an effort to provide consumers with the information they need to better understand the value of their healthcare. “You wouldn’t buy a new car or a plasma TV without first knowing how well it works and how it is going to affect the family budget,” said Sensor. “So why should healthcare be any different?”
About Alegent Health
Alegent Health is the largest not-for-profit, faith-based healthcare system in Nebraska and southwestern Iowa with 10 hospitals, more than 100 sites of service, over 1,300 physicians on its medical staff and 9,000 employees. Alegent Health is ranked first in the country in quality and patient satisfaction according to the Network for Regional healthcare Improvement (NRHI). That exceptional commitment to providing patient focused care for the body, mind and spirit of every person keeps Alegent Health faithful to its Mission, which was inspired by its sponsors, Catholic Health Initiatives and Immanuel Health Systems. At Alegent Health, patients and their families find a continuum of care, from women's and children's services, primary care, wellness counseling, and senior care to cardiovascular services, orthopaedics, oncology, physical rehabilitation and behavioral health. Alegent Health is online at www.alegent.com.