Navigating the health care maze

By Felicia Joubert  ·  Dec 21, 2023

Health care can feel like a maze. There are so many options of where to go and who to choose for care. Just like working through a maze, you’ll encounter dead ends and reversals, and sometimes you'll need to restart.

It can be overwhelming.

You have tools

As the cost of health care increases, many question what is behind the cost of their care and if providers are charging a fair price. In fact, in 2021, Axios reported that most top hospitals were charging more than five times the cost of the care they were delivering.

There are a multitude of providers and hospitals to choose from and more access to care than ever before, but as long as providers do not bill each patient equally for the same procedures, the need for transparency with medical billing grows.

Fortunately, as a Samaritan Ministries member, you have reliable tools to help you find quality service at a fair price.

There could be multiple reasons why a provider bills a higher charge than the cost of the service, but you can compare costs and negotiate a reasonable price to avoid being overcharged. With the resources Samaritan provides through your Dashboard and a few simple steps, billed charges can usually be negotiated and reduced.

Healthcare Bluebook™

Services like Healthcare Bluebook have tools and services to help you shop for both affordable and quality care. They offer a fair-price search tool for almost any service you may need, and this feature is not limited to eligible conditions. The search results give you the price you can expect to pay based on a scale of costs for a given procedure when compared to other providers in the same area. These prices are estimates based on billing history data.

We have had many success stories with members using the services of Healthcare Bluebook. Samaritan Ministries member Randall commented:

This is the third time we have used Healthcare Bluebook and the experience all 3 times has been great. They are extremely helpful and took care of everything with the doctor, hospital, and anesthesiologist so we did not have to pay anything upfront. They were also able to get a better rate than I was when I called to get costs. Christie followed up with me to make sure everything went smoothly and was always very easy to get a hold of if I had questions.

Getting help

For large bills or difficult situations with a provider, the Samaritan Provider Relations team is available to help you negotiate a bill, saving you and the Samaritan community money. You can contact them at [email protected].

Unsure of a diagnosis or if treatment is needed? Making use of these resources saves time and money, and it’s all available online through your Samaritan Dashboard.

Your choice of care is in your hands.

Felicia Joubert is Strategic Relations Manager at Samaritan Ministries.