Making Ends Meet: Louisville experts offer healthcare cost-cutting tools

Making Ends Meet: Louisville experts offer healthcare cost-cutting tools

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Whether it’s paying for prescriptions or picking how much of a paycheck to put toward insurance each year, a big chunk of people’s salaries goes to healthcare.

The League of Women Voters held an event Monday night in Louisville to teach people how to keep more of their money in their bank accounts.

One of the speakers, who works in the insurance industry, said a little bit of research can save consumers some money.

He suggested the following tools:

  1. The Healthcare Blue Book. This tool is much like the Blue Book used for car comparisons. It ranks prices for different procedures at hospitals near patients. ​(https://www.healthcarebluebook.com/)
  2. Good RX. This website allows people to compare prescription prices by locations. At Tuesday’s event, an expert said prices vary between pharmacies more than people might expect. (https://www.goodrx.com/)
  3. Health assistants. These digital tools help patients decide how to use their insurance. A person inputs an issue and the program tells them how to proceed to save money and receive proper care. For example, certain situations can be taken care of at urgent care, instead of the potentially costly emergency room.

Sheila Schuster, a consumer advocate with Kentucky Voices for Health, said if the cost of healthcare is important to someone, they may want to keep their eye on Frankfort in the coming months.​ Schuster said Governor-Elect Andy Beshear has claimed to want to pull back on a Medicaid waiver that was gaining momentum under the Bevin administration. She said that could affect about 100,000 Kentuckians who are already concerned about the cost of healthcare.

"They're either forgoing medical tests or procedures, or they've been pursued by collection agencies," she said. "They're losing sleep over this. So, we need to address this systemically in Kentucky." ​

Schuster added that she’s also watching bills that might come before the Kentucky General Assembly in 2020. She said that could include a bill that will put a cap on the price of copays for insulin, another that she claims would cut a middleman out drug pricing, and a third that would prevent surprise billing.

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