Aetna Releases Health-Care Cost Tool

August 11, 2004 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Aetna has introduced Estimate the Cost of Care, a new suite of cost tools aimed at meeting consumer demand for cost information to make well-informed decisions about health care spending.

The tools will be available on Aetna Navigator, the company’s customized member portal, which will now offer enhanced cost information for prescription drugs, medical and dental procedures, office visits and medical tests. The suite of tools helps members to predict their costs over the course of a year for a range of diseases and conditions based on their level of severity, according to a news release.

The Estimate the Cost of Care suite of tools expands on the existing tools by providing an interactive way to view cost information in several new categories and provides a comparison of estimated average in- and out-of-network costs, including:

  • Prescription Drugs –offers links to information about specific drugs, drug uses and interactions, and the cost of brand and generic prescription drugs at retail drug stores and through Aetna’s mail-order drug program.
  • Dental Procedurescompares the costs for selected dental services and illustrates the potential cost savings if members choose participating dentists.
  • Medical Procedures –compares the costs for selected medical procedures and surgeries such as arthroscopy and colonoscopy, and demonstrates the potential cost savings if members choose participating physicians.
  • Office Visits –compares the costs by type and complexity level for visits such as routine physicals and emergency room visits, and shows the potential cost savings if members choose participating physicians or hospitals.
  • Medical Tests –compares the costs for lab tests, X-rays, MRIs and other services and illustrates the potential cost savings if members use participating testing facilities.
  • Diseases and Conditions – provides up to a year of estimated average total in-network costs for facility, doctor, pharmacy, and medical tests associated with specific diseases and conditions, such as asthma or diabetes, depending on their level of severity.

“The Estimate the Cost of Care suite of tools illustratesAetna’s commitment to continuously enhance the tools and information that help consumers anticipate and take charge of their health care expenses,”said Robin Downey, head of product development at Aetna.

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