4 Surprising Places to Find Deals on Health Care
In a time when everything can be purchased online, finding deals that keep you healthy is becoming easier and more affordable. There are a number of sites available for purchasing deals in health care. Here are a few that you should check out if you are in the market to save on your medical expenses, too. (See also: Health Care Price Lists: A Short Guide)
You'll find a variety of deals on Groupon. From dental cleanings to cosmetic procedures and eye exams to chiropractic services, Groupon's list of health care deals continues to grow.
You can feel comfortable buying from Groupon with their Groupon Promise. This promise states that if you are "are disappointed by your experience, [they'll] work with you to make it right or give you a refund." They will also honor refunds when "a business closes permanently, an event is canceled or rescheduled, or a business refuses to accept your unredeemed Groupon voucher."
While the deals aren't as frequent on LivingSocial as with Groupon, they can be found. The site operates much the same way as Groupon does. You pay for a voucher that is sent to your email. You print that voucher, make your appointment, and show your voucher at the time of service. The deal sites will reimburse the business whatever agreed upon amount, so you will have nothing to pay at the time of service unless you receive extra services above and beyond what your voucher is for.
Be sure to read the fine print before you purchase to avoid extra expenses that you did not anticipate. With the email I received for an eye exam and purchase of glasses, I would have received the exam and $50 credit towards the purchase of glasses. Closer inspection of the fine print stated that it was for any glasses over a certain price range, which was more than I'd normally spend on glasses.
If you live in Chicago, Wichita, Kansas, or the Austin and Dallas/Fort Worth areas of Texas, you can use DealWell to save money on health care, specifically imaging services such as MRIs, CT scans, ultrasounds, x-rays, and similar procedures. DealWell offers shoppers a retail price which you can buy immediately, or you can bid a different price. You'll find out within just a few seconds if your bid is acceptable and — if it is — you'll have six minutes to purchase that deal. Once it has been confirmed, you print off a certificate and contact the business you purchased the deal from.
The potential is there to save hundreds of dollars on imaging services with DealWell. They have plans to grow their site to other cities across the United States, so check back with them frequently.
There now exists a site that brings eBay type bidding to health care. MediBid gives doctors the opportunity to bid on the cost of the procedure you may need done. The patient pays a fee ($25 for making one medical request or you can pay a $4.99 per month fee if you plan to make multiple requests for procedures) and provides a detailed list of their concerns or ailments. The doctors place a offer for how much they would charge for their service.
The patient is responsible for researching the doctors before accepting any bids. However, once you have done the research, you can save yourself a great deal of money. In the case of one man, MediBid saved him $50,000 on hip replacement surgery.
Regardless of the site you use, if you want to make sure you are getting a good deal, you can use sites like Fair Health or Healthcare Bluebook to check the prices of the services and procedures you are interested in receiving. These sites can provide you the average cost of most medical procedures in your area.
As with all deals and anything related to your health, practice due diligence before spending money or agreeing to a medical procedure.
Have you used any of these or other sources to find great health care deals? Please share in comments!