Des Moines, Iowa - The Principal Financial Group is introducing an online tool--called the Treatment Cost Advisor--designed to help members evaluate the price of specific procedures as well as medications. The tool responds to a growing need from employers who are encouraging employees to make smarter health decisions."Understanding health care costs is complicated, so we wanted to offer a way for our members to identify and compare pricing for everything from minor procedures to surgeries and hospital stays," says Carey Jury, senior vice president of the health division for the Principal Financial Group. "As consumer driven health care continues to evolve and more responsibility shifts to employees, we must provide tools and resources to help our members make informed health decisions."

The Treatment Cost Advisor gives access to prices for a wide range of services, tests, physician visits and medications. Employees provide information about their current condition, age, gender and location and then receive estimated costs for procedures covering primary care, specialist visits, treatments, and others. Additional features include definitions for specific medical conditions as well as tools such as "Questions to Ask Your Doctor" and a hospital locator.

The Treatment Cost Advisor is one of a number of tools and services available through the Principal's HealthyConnections program. Focused on helping members get healthy and stay healthy, HealthyConnections includes online health assessment tools, a library of health and wellness news and information about managing specific conditions or procedures. A prenatal care program, hospital care coordination, disease management and a number of other services are available to those needing specialized care.

"To remain competitive, companies need to offer more than just health benefits, but also strategies that address the real issue - improving health," says Jury. "This newest tool is one more way we're transforming the health of our members."

The Treatment Cost Advisor, is provided by Chicago-based Subimo LLC and available for insured and self-funded members.

Source: The Principal Financial Group

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