Need a dermatologist? Today, online tools can show you which doctors are in your plan’s network as well as rank them by the likely cost of a visit.
Still not sure which one to pick? The tools also show whether you have already met your plan’s deductible and offer Yelp-like reviews of the doctors.
The idea behind these web tools, which have been available from health insurers and start-ups for several years, is to harness the power of so-called big data. The companies cull medical claims and other sources of information to help people become sophisticated shoppers for medical care — and they promise to curb the overall cost of health care in the process. By some estimates, the savings from this newfound transparency could run in the billions of dollars a year.
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