Had it with Confusing Healthcare Insurance Bills? Simplee Has Created a Better Way

Had it with Confusing Healthcare Insurance Bills? Simplee Has Created a Better WayTomer Shoval found out the hard way that health insurance bills can be a confusing mess of statements, deductibles and claim forms clogging America’s mailboxes. Several years ago his entire family got the flu during a vacation in Mexico, they were inundated with paperwork from their insurance company and from various doctors for months after they returned home.

I spent so much time and effort trying to figure out that huge pile of paper. It was time consuming, extremely confusing, and frustrating. I didn’t remember what some of charges were for. I couldn’t remember if I paid for them and I had no idea how my part was calculated.

I couldn’t believe such an important aspect of people’s lives, one that is also costly, is so inefficient and unclear. I wanted to solve this problem that affects us all. That was the birth of Simplee.

As I’ve just related through my own personal experience, health care in the United States has become a confusing mess of bills, deductibles and hidden expenses. Just making sense of it all can be so frustrating and time consuming that we just give up. But the reality is out of pocket health care costs are up 50 percent over the last five years. The average family spends more than $3,000 per year beyond their monthly premiums. As a country and as concerned citizens, we just can’t afford to ignore this anymore.

Had it with Confusing Healthcare Insurance Bills? Simplee Has Created a Better WayIn fact, here are some stunning statistics about the healthcare crisis in America:

  • In 2010, U.S. health care costs increased 9%.
  • 1 in every 4 Americans went into credit card debt to pay their medical bills in 2010.
  • $2.5 trillion – Total annual U.S. health care spending, or 17.3% of GDP.
  • $500 billion – U.S. health spending on duplicate processing, bad coordination and out-of-date scheduling.
  • 0 – Number of countries that spend more on health care than the U.S.

(source: Bloomberg)

  • Consumers pay over 15% for services they use, averaging over $3,000 a year. This is 50% more than it was 4 years ago. Over the past decade, consumer premiums more than doubled.

(source: Milliman Medical Index 2010)

  • In Chicago, IL prices for an MRI of the lumbar spine with contrast ranged from $500-$2,661 among three hospitals and five imaging centers.
  • In Washington, DC prices for routine mammogram screenings ranged from $123-$441 among community based center & hospitals

(source: Healthcare Bluebook)

A new group of startups are attacking the problem by giving consumers the information and tools they need to take control of their health care expenses, and my company Simplee is one of them.

Simplee securely links to a consumer’s health insurance and transforms it into a clean, easy-to-read dashboard for tracking and controlling spending, reducing paperwork, expanding health care options and saving money.

And the best part? It’s free (as well as totally safe and secure).

Had it with Confusing Healthcare Insurance Bills? Simplee Has Created a Better WayHere’s what Simplee provide to consumers looking to understand, track and control their healthcare expenses:

  • Understand what you’re responsible for and what’s been paid by your insurance.
  • Total medical costs, how much you’ve paid out-of-pocket, your deductible status and total family spending for the last year.
  • Track what you’ve already paid so when you get a bill, you’ll know if you’re reconciled it or not.
  • Reminders to take advantage of free procedures included in your plan, like dental cleanings, before they expire.
  • If you charged for a procedure that should be covered, Simplee cross-references your plan information and lets you know how to fix it.
  • Support is provided for Aetna, Anthem, Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS), Blue Shield California, Cigna, Delta Dental, United Healthcare, Vision Service Plan (VSP) and WellPoint (Empire BCBS), with plans to support approximately 80 percent of the entire U.S. market by the end of the year.

Thousands of people have already signed up during the past couple of weeks of the private beta, and the service will officially launch in a few weeks. We can provide some powerful stories from users who are really happy with the service – here’s one couple’s story (abridged):

“This service is incredible. My wife asked me to sort through all of our medical bills from the birth of our first child. I saw the pile, flipped through some of the bills and immediately became frustrated and confused after an hour. Last night I signed up for Simplee. I was able to get a handle on our costs and bills in about 20 minutes. For the first time, we had an insight on these random Explanation of Benefit Forms and the subsequent bills that clog our mailbox. We finally felt empowered to ask the right questions and relieved to know that we were not blindly writing checks for bills. Thank you for saving me time, presenting complicated information in an intuitive way, and finally providing us some sense of relief on managing our health costs.”

Recently, I read an article by David Lazarus from the Los Angeles Times, called “Medical bills need reconstructive surgery” and I couldn’t agree more…

A few sounds bytes from the article:

  • Prices are almost always inflated before being routinely discounted. Amid such financial flimflammery, it’s virtually impossible for a patient to be a well-informed consumer of healthcare.
  • Needless to say, such billing procedures make it virtually impossible for a patient to know the actual cost of treatment, let alone to shop around for the best possible deal.
  • If we’re ever going to get our hands around runaway healthcare costs, we’re going to have to introduce some transparency to medical pricing, along with some way of requiring that doctors and hospitals price their services fairly.
  • Basically, it needs to become clearer how much things really cost and how much is really covered.
  • The current system is little more than a guessing game in which prices don’t reflect reality and in which the consumer is deliberately left in the dark.

This is exactly Simplee’s mission― to bring the power back to consumers by providing transparency and useful tools to improve care and reduce cost. ALL WITH A SINGLE FOCUS, THE CONSUMER! You can read the original article here: http://lat.ms/htM18O.

As health care costs are increasing and as more and more cost sharing is shifting to consumers, it will be necessary for individuals and families to become familiar with tools, like those offered by Simplee, that will allow them to understand the products and services they are using, the prices they are paying and the costs for which they are responsible.

You can see Simplee in action on YouTube at

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H5uB82OVrCg&feature=youtu.be

Follow our blog at http://blog.simplee.com/

Follow us on assorted social media sites:

Twitter: @SimpleeHealth

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/simpleehealth

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/company/1326390?goback=.fcs_GLHD_Simplee_false_*2_*2_*2_*2_*2_*2_*2_*2_*2_*2_*2_*2&trk=ncsrch_hits

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/SimpleeHealth

Squidoo: http://www.squidoo.com/simplee

Photobucket: http://photobucket.com/simpleehealth

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