UnitedHealthcare's tools to navigate healthcare coverage

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by New Day Producers

KING5.com

Posted on January 15, 2014 at 1:52 PM

The Affordable Care Act is creating a new era of healthcare, even for those who are covered by their employers. UnitedHealthcare has created several tools to help members navigate all aspects of their plan's coverage, as well as comparison-shop for treatments, procedures and much more.

Dr. Roger Muller, Market Medical Director of UnitedHealthcare, Pacific Region, joined Margaret to discuss some of those tools and explain how they can help people gain better control over their healthcare needs.

Among the tools Dr. Muller discussed:

myHealthcare Cost Estimator - an online resource that provides prices for a number of services, like an MRI or even having a baby, based on zip codes and plan types.

The tool:

  • Allows access to prices for more than 500 treatments and procedures, while also considering quality comparison information.
  • Users can build cost estimates by matching a specific physician with a specific, desired hospital. Estimates for treatments and procedures, such as surgeries, lab tests, radiology tests and office visits are available.
  • A simple user-interface makes understanding health treatment options as easy as comparison shopping for airline tickets, cars, electronic devices or other consumer goods.
  • myHealthcare Cost Estimator draws on the company's actual contracted rates with physicians, hospitals, clinics and other healthcare providers across 47 markets, giving consumers highly-accurate price estimates.
  • Cost estimates are tailored to a consumer's specific benefits plan design, identifying their out-of-pocket costs,cost paid by their employer, and available funds in a health care account to pay toward the expenses.

Health4Me - a mobile app that allows customers to review benefit, health savings account, recent claims information and more, from their smartphones.

MyClaims Manager Tool - UnitedHealthcare is the first insurance carrier to offer an online bill paying service. The goal of myClaims Manager is to help consumers take greater ownership of their healthcare decisions, offering a simple and clear way for people to manage all their health-related finances from one online location. (Some consumers have already caught medical billing errors by using the enhanced service)

Besides bill-paying capabilities, the new online service helps consumers better manage their health-related finance in a variety of ways, including:

  • Helping them check claims for accuracy and resolve any discrepancies
  • Tracking medical expenses for tax reporting
  • Providing claim details that help consumers understand what they owe and why
  • Allowing them to make notes and flag claims for follow-up, as well as mark those that have been paid
  • Explaining health care terms in language that's easy to understand

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