As Costs Rise for Common Procedures, Make Sure You're Insured

Between 2011 and 2013, hospitals raised patient costs for various common procedures by as much as 20 percent, well over double the rate of inflation. Learn more about the increases and ways you can save money if you need one of these procedures. 

Common Procedures and Cost Increases From 2011-2013

The following medical procedures saw an increase in costs between 2011 and 2013. For comparison, the cost Medicare covers is included. 

1. Atherosclerosis (arterial disease)
Average cost: $19,219, a 17.1% increase, Medicare pays $3,188

2. Back and neck procedures, excluding spinal fusion
Average cost: $36,215, a 22% increase, Medicare pays $5,818 

3. Chest pain charges 
Average cost: $19,867, an 18.1% increase, Medicare pays $3,029 

4. Circulatory disorders, except acute myocardial infarction with cardiac catheterization
Average cost: $39,093, a 15.1% increase, Medicare pays $6,189

5. Degenerative nervous system disorders 
Average cost: $28,033, a 17.2% increase, Medicare pays $6,020

6. Fractures, sprains, strains and dislocations other than femur, hip, pelvis and thigh
Average cost: $22,041, a 17.3% increase, Medicare pays $4,100

7. Medical back problems 
Average cost: $26,214, a 17.5% increase, Medicare pays $4,825

8. Percutaneous cardiovascular procedures without a coronary artery stent
Average cost: $75,331, a 17.2% increase, Medicare pays $12,743 


How Can You Combat These Price Increases?

Despite cost increases, you can receive medical treatment at a reduced cost when you follow two steps. 

First, use in-network providers who contract with your insurance company to offer services at a reduced rate. Since many insurance companies now feature narrow networks, check your policy carefully so you know exactly which doctors and procedures are covered. 

Second, update your insurance policy. Choose a plan that covers the procedures you need or plan the procedure to take full advantage of your deductible. If you know you'll need a costly procedure done in the future, shop around now for insurance that will cover it. 

Talk to your insurance agent today to discuss your needs and the best coverage for you. With the right coverage, you can ensure you're adequately insured despite rising medical costs. 

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