IMPAQ Health has created a calculator that will help New York State residents compare the cost of hundreds of health insurance plans.
The NYPlanCosts Calculator should be particularly beneficial to people with one of eight chronic conditions — multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease, hepatitis C, diabetes, HIV, schizophrenia, breast cancer and bipolar disorder, IMPAQ Health said. It should also be a big help to women during pregnancy and childbirth, it said.
IMPAQ Health, which provides research that help organizations overcome challenges, said the comparison cost calculator is the first of its kind in the United States. It is meant to be a model for similar services in other states later.
The eight chronic conditions and two life events that the insurance plan comparison calculator covers are some of the most expensive treatments in New York State. The percentage of medical costs that insurers cover varies from company to company. This means that the percentage that patients pay from their own pockets varies as well.
IMPAQ’s out-of-pocket-cost calculator is designed to help patients chose a health insurance plan that minimizes their costs.
The information that the calculator crunches includes patients’ demographic data, how much they use healthcare services, and the cost-sharing features of various health insurance plans.
IMPAQ Health said the New York State Health Foundation supported the cost calculator development effort. The foundation’s overarching goal is to help improve the health of all New York State residents.
“With hundreds of different products to choose from, selecting a health insurance plan can be daunting for consumers, especially as many costs only show up after treatment, and out-of-pocket costs can end up being much greater than just the monthly premium,” Dr. David Sandman, president and chief executive officer of the New York State Health Foundation, said in a press release.
“The NYPlanCosts Calculator is a game-changing transparency tool to find and compare out-of-pocket costs by different health plans and by different conditions,” he said. It will help New York State residents “make the right choice for themselves and their families.”
For additional information, please check out IMPAQ Health’s fact sheet on the project.