2021 Hero Cost Transparency Update Health Care Cost

Consumer tools to compare health care costs and save

With just a few taps on your phone, you know the cost of the ride to get you to a doctor’s visit ­– but may have no idea how much the medical appointment itself will cost. 

Health care costs continue to be top of mind for the majority of Americans. They account for nearly 11 percent of the household budget for a married couple with children, making it vital that consumers have options to comparison shop and better understand the cost of their medical services same as they would for any other purchase. In fact, 78 percent of Americans want to know the cost of care before receiving it.  

Blue Cross® and Blue Shield® companies strongly support efforts to empower consumers with greater access to meaningful information that allows them to make the best choices for their health care. Our experience insuring one in three Americans tells us consumers most want clear information about their out-of-pocket costs, the quality of care a physician or facility will provide and whether a clinician is in their plan’s network.     

Transparency isn’t just something we talk about. It’s something we already deliver.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies around the country offer a variety of tools and resources that help patients access and understand the individualized information that is critical to their personal health care decision-making. For example:

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies offer a suite of consumer transparency tools to give members actionable information that connects them with high-quality, cost-effective care. From side-by-side doctor comparisons, to meaningful cost estimates tailored to their individual benefit plan, as well as a proprietary “Personalized Match” feature, members are empowered to become more savvy health care consumers.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies in Illinois, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas offer access to Benefits Value Advisor. This live advocate helps individuals as they consider treatment options by easily enabling them to identify in-network providers and locate the best value through cost and quality comparisons for a variety of medical procedures. Through the Member Rewards program, individuals can estimate out-of-pocket costs, and when a quality, lower-cost service, provider or procedure is selected, members may receive a cash reward.   

Federal employees enrolled in the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Federal Employee Program® (FEP®) can utilize the Healthcare Cost Advisor planning tool to get access to personalized cost data, including understanding current and past costs and out-of-pocket spending.  Members can estimate potential out-of-pocket expenses based on expected or anticipated life changes or events as well as get help calculating annual health care budget. All while allowing members the ability to make the most informed health care decisions quickly and easily.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska’s cost tool gives estimates for common procedures based on each individual’s specific benefits, with that individual’s co-pays and deductibles spelled out. In addition to comparing costs, patient reviews and details on care also are available. 

In North Carolina, Blue Cross and Blue and Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) provides specific, transparent pricing information to all members. The company was the first insurer in the country to make in-network prices available to the public by publishing an online tool that allows people to compare pricing for specific procedures by provider and location. For members, the tool provides estimates specific to their plan and deductible for the entire episode of care so they can comparison shop and make informed decisions. Members on eligible plans can even take advantage of a transparency program that pays cash for shopping and comparing costs of common medical procedures. When program participants choose the most affordable doctors and hospitals delivering high-quality care, a check is mailed to their home.

Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Blue Cross Blue Shield Illinois, Blue Cross Blue Shield Montana, Blue Cross Blue Shield Texas, Blue Cross Blue Shield New Mexico, Blue Cross Blue Shield Oklahoma, Blue Cross Blue Shield Nebraska are independent licensees of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield Federal Employee Program® (FEP®), Blue Cross and Blue Shield are registered trademarks of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.


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