Rewarding Good 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 MRI but not sure how to get one done quickly, stay in network, and know upfront what he could expect to pay.
“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.”