The New Hampshire Insurance Department recently announced major consumer-oriented updates to its nationally recognized health cost transparency website, NHHealthCost.org. NH residents can use the website to search and compare the cost estimates of medical and dental procedures and retail prescription drug costs. Medical care can be costly, and most people may not know what they will need to pay until they receive a bill in the mail. Services can also vary by hundreds or even thousands of dollars, depending on the facility and insurance company. NH HealthCost is a helpful resource for people who want to make more informed decisions about how to manage their health care dollars.
NH HealthCost includes:
- 67 medical procedure cost estimates, including X-rays, physical therapy, lab tests, and more.
- 16 dental procedure cost estimates, including cleanings, X-rays, fillings, and more.
- 65 retail prescription costs for generic and brand name drugs
- Searchable quality measures for NH hospitals, including patient experience, infection prevention, and more.
- Guide to Health Insurance, to answer your questions about finding a plan, using insurance, and managing your costs.
A major new component of the updated website is quality of care data. This new section of the website offers a convenient way to view nationally available quality data on local health care facilities, such as infection rates, patient experience, and readmissions. Knowing more about the cost and quality of care means that patients can have a better understanding of the medical services they can expect to receive before their appointment.
For those who are new to health insurance or want to learn more, the website now includes a “Guide to Health Insurance.” The guide features commonly asked questions about getting health insurance, navigating the insurance system, and how to manage costs. The guide is also interactive. Users can submit their own questions and give feedback.
NH HealthCost, which was created by the NH Insurance Department in 2007, uses actual anonymous paid health insurance claims data, collected from the state’s insurers, to show cost estimates for health care procedures at facilities across the state. The website allows people to see the total costs of their procedures, including physician fees, lab fees, and facility fees, based on their insurance company, deductible, and co-insurance. Uninsured NH residents can also see how much they will need to pay out-of-pocket for medical costs.
New Hampshire is considered a national leader in health care transparency. In 2015, it was the only state in the country to earn an A on a national report card on access to health care prices, issued by the Catalyst for Payment Reform and Health Care Incentives Institute. The report card cited NH HealthCost as “a prime example of a price transparency website built with consumers in mind.”
The New Hampshire Insurance Department’s mission is to promote and protect the public good by ensuring the existence of a safe and competitive insurance marketplace through the development and enforcement of the insurance laws of the State of New Hampshire. For more information, visit www.nh.gov/insurance.
Representatives of NH Health Cost will provide an overview of the website at the PHC meeting on June 17, 2016. That meeting will be held from 9 to 11 am at Hypertherm, 71 Heater Road.