Creating innovative solutions to help make health care more affordable

Many of us may be looking for ways to save money, especially when it comes to health care. In fact, one study found the average U.S. resident spends $1,122 on out-of-pocket health expenses annually.

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You may be able to avoid some costly medical expenses by understanding how to use the financial incentives and tools offered through your health insurance.

Regular health care visits can help improve your overall well-being, but the last thing you want to worry about is how you’ll pay for those services — especially if you’re injured or not feeling well. Cost management tools may help simplify this process, provide guidance on choosing a provider and may help to eliminate the guesswork of out-of-pocket expenses.

Some health plan options may include preloaded debit cards, helping minimize out-of-pocket costs while helping to encourage more regular health visits. Care Cash, which is available to select UnitedHealthcare members, helps pay for primary care, urgent care, virtual visits and out-patient behavioral health visits. The card can be used toward these services as long as the member stays within the program’s eligible preferred provider network. Through regular engagement with these preferred providers, who have been identified as offering lower-cost, quality care, it may help keep the member healthier and help keep costs in check.  

Another way to help manage your costs is selecting physicians who are in-network — or figuring out your best next steps, if you find that you inadvertently used out-of-network services. 

If you’ve been surprised by a medical bill, you aren’t alone — 1 in 5 Americans get hit with a surprise bill after an elective surgery. This can be common with specialists, such as anesthesiologists, emergency department physicians and radiologists. To help you navigate this process and understand how to proactively plan for these services, some resources may offer step-by-step assistance.

Programs, like Naviguard, may help guide you through scheduling planned procedures to help avoid unexpected out-of-network services. Some programs may also offer support through dedicated advocates who help explain the next steps if surprise billing happens.

These solutions may help you take control of your health in a more personalized and effective way – while helping to better manage your finances. To find out your eligibility for these benefits, check with your health insurance plan.