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VOL. 128 | NO. 210 | Monday, October 28, 2013

5 Keys to Successful Health Care Shopping

AP

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Patients are being pushed to shop more for health care by insurance plans that require them to pay higher out-of-pocket costs. But finding the right deal is often no easy task. Here are five things to consider if you decide to shop around:

1 — Check with your insurer: Don't make a big bill even larger by shopping for care outside your health insurer's network of doctors. See if you can get better deals inside that network.

2 — Ask for help: Your insurer may offer an application or online tool that lets you compare prices you would pay based on your coverage.

3 — Press for details: A surgery could come with separate invoices from the surgeon, the anesthesiologist and the surgery center. Make sure you have the full picture of potential bills you may face.

4 — Don't equate price with quality: A hospital may charge several different prices for a procedure depending on the patient's insurance coverage or lack thereof. A higher price doesn't always mean better care.

5 — Think hard about quality: Don't weigh just price. Consider things like how much experience a provider has with the surgery or the infection or readmission rates for the hospital.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 70 125 13,455
MORTGAGES 119 192 17,541
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 19 51 3,442
BUILDING PERMITS 146 769 31,699
BANKRUPTCIES 62 128 12,823
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UTILITY CONNECTIONS 80 233 19,690
MARRIAGE LICENSES 25 69 4,129

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