Thousand Oaks, Calif. - Blue Cross of California (BCC) introduces an enhanced Dental Blue Cost Estimator, an online tool designed to enable BCC's Dental Blue members to estimate their out-of-pocket expenses for common procedures such as cleanings, fillings and periodontal treatment. Members can access the Dental Blue Cost Estimator, through the recently launched Treatment Cost Advisor tool, to view estimated out-of-pocket costs by zip code. 

"'How much will I owe?' is a basic question our members ask," says Brian Sassi, president and general manager of BCC. "The Dental Blue Cost Estimator helps them answer that question by assessing the out-of-pocket cost associated with certain treatments. This easy-to-use online tool is one of our transparency initiatives aimed at helping members make informed health care decisions."

The Dental Blue Cost Estimator is powered by WebMD and can be accessed by visiting BCC's Web site. After members log in and click on Healthcare Advisor, they can find out costs for common dental care services including:

  • Regular check-ups
  • Gum treatments (periodontal)
  • Dentures
  • Fillings—restorative—tooth repair oral surgery
  • Root canal (endodontic) therapy
  • Teeth whitening
  • Tooth Repair—crowns, bridge

In May, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Indiana announced an online tool designed to enable Central Indiana Anthem consumers to understand the cost of the medical care they receive for common procedures such as knee replacement, maternity services and tonsillectomy.
The Anthem Care Comparison tool, at http://www.anthem.com, provides facility-specific medical care cost estimates so consumers will have a better idea of the costs they will incur before medical services have been provided.

For nearly 40 of the most common medical procedures, Anthem members from Logansport to Bedford and from Terre Haute to Richmond, will now have access to information for an entire episode of care—not just the procedure itself, but also lab work, anesthesia, recovery room charges and other services related to the procedure. The estimated costs can be compared at all hospitals in a geographical area. The result is a more accurate picture of the total cost associated with a given procedure.

The Anthem Care Comparison tool was first introduced in September 2006 in Dayton, Ohio. Since then, an online survey has shown that more than 90% of Anthem Care Comparison users found the tool to be valuable, with 84% saying it increased their ability to make good decisions regarding where to have a medical service performed.

 

Source: Business Wire and INN archives

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