Rewarding Health Care Choices: Matt’s Story
It’s always such a nice surprise when we hear directly from people who are benefitting from our solutions. Just recently, one of our health plan clients introduced us to a member who is thrilled about his experience using their digital tools – including our white-labeled cost estimation experience and award winning rewards program. Below, in his own words, Matt shares his health care experience – needing an MRI but not sure how to get one done quickly, stay in network, and know upfront what he could expect to pay. By exploring his health plan’s digital tools, Matt found a very rewarding health care experience:
“I’m a big runner, which means I’ve had my fair share of injuries over the years, including many stints in physical therapy. So when my right hip began bothering me, I tried to treat myself for about four months, until the nagging numbness in my right leg and hip finally pushed me to see my primary care physician.
I didn’t think twice when he referred me to the physical therapist in his clinic. After two quick visits, I was given some exercises to do on my own and told to check in after a few weeks if things hadn’t improved. I knew this was different from all the other physical therapy regimens I had been on in the past, but I was excited not to have to go to his office multiple times a week and didn’t ask questions. Unfortunately, the exercises turned out to be far too aggressive. After a couple weeks, I was in worse shape. With my mid-back thrown out and my leg in severe pain, I went back to my primary care doctor. That led to a recommendation for an MRI and crutches.
The first available MRI appointment was two weeks away. I was in such agonizing pain that I knew I couldn’t wait. I also knew my health plan’s website has tools for finding cost-effective, in-network providers and scheduling appointments. It even offers gift cards when you choose certain providers. So I logged in to find imaging center options that also had openings right away. I found out that the total for an MRI at imaging centers in the Portland, Oregon, area ranged from $380 to more than $1,500. It turned out that the least expensive option on the list had an appointment available three days later and also let me earn a gift card.
“The thing I learned most from this experience is how much it pays off—both for my health and my wallet—to use my plan’s online tools to do a little research.”
When I was charged for my MRI, I was pretty amazed that the estimated cost I saw on my health plan’s website was less than $1 different from what I actually paid. And while I paid $77 out of my pocket, the reward my health plan gave me for choosing that facility was $50, so it covered most of the cost.
Using my health plan’s website to get information was quick and easy. The thing I learned most from this experience is how much it pays off—both for my health and my wallet—to use my plan’s online tools to do a little research.”