We live in a time of increasing healthcare costs, and awareness of these costs is more important than ever. In 2021 alone, the U.S. saw a 2.7% increase in health spending, totaling $4.3 trillion in healthcare costs.1
The Wellfleet Student team is continually taking steps to make healthcare easier for our members to navigate. That’s why we’ve partnered with Zelis to leverage the Cost of Care tool. The cost estimator will increase transparency in student healthcare by providing members with an estimated cost of services before they’re performed.
What is the Cost of Care tool?
Cost estimation tools help estimate costs before surgery and other medical services. Wellfleet’s Cost of Care tool calculates the cost of receiving a medical procedure or treatment from several providers. The tool estimates the member’s out-of-pocket costs based on the member’s insurance coverage, deductibles, copays, and coinsurance.
This allows the member to budget for their care and make informed decisions prior to receiving care.
Why did we create a cost estimator tool?
According to Gallup, 39% percent of American adults report they’re not able to pay for healthcare and/or they can’t access quality care.2 The burden of unexpected medical bills can cause stress, and budgeting for these expenses can be difficult, with the cost of medical services varying widely. This is especially the case for adults 18-49, who have an average annual income of less than $100,000. In fact, of this cohort, 38% put off medical treatment because of the potential expense.3
Further, according to a recent Wellfleet Student survey, nearly one in three (30%) student healthcare professionals believe the lack of transparency regarding the cost of care prevents students from seeking proper healthcare.4 And students agree. In another Wellfleet Student survey, 86% of students noted transparency of the cost of care as the most significant barrier to seeking proper care.4
That’s why we’re offering the Cost of Care to tool increase transparency for our student members. We believe members have the right to know their out-of-pocket healthcare costs before they receive care. Further, having a cost-of-care estimator helps meet federal guidelines in the Transparency in Coverage Final Rule.
What information does the Wellfleet Cost of Care tool provide?
Wellfleet’s cost estimator tool is a comprehensive tool that is used to assist with decision-making as members compare their healthcare options. The tool provides members with:
- A comprehensive provider search: Student members can search for primary care providers, hospitals, urgent care facilities, behavioral healthcare clinics, and more.
- Tailored cost estimates: Student members can identify estimated costs that consider the member’s current deductible and out-of-pocket balances.
- Personalized guidance: Students receive a provider recommendation based on cost, quality, and experience.
Benefits of estimating healthcare costs
At Wellfleet, we are committed to helping our members successfully manage their healthcare costs, and our Cost of Care tool is one of the many resources we offer to make this process easier.
The advantages of using cost estimator tools are numerous. Here are a few of the ways we bring value to student members:
- Cost savings: Members can save money using the tool to compare prices and choose a cost-effective provider and treatment.
- Quality care: Using patient reviews and other quality measures, the tool helps members find top-rated providers, ensuring members receive care from providers they trust.
- Easier budgeting: When members can plan for upcoming healthcare expenses, they are more equipped to act strategically with their money.
- Peace of mind: Members benefit from making informed healthcare decisions and avoiding unexpected costs.
How the Cost of Care tool works
The tool is available through the Wellfleet Student app or the member’s Wellfleet school landing page. Students log in to their secure Wellfleet account with their credentials and select the Cost of Care estimator link under the Benefits tab, which directs them to the Cost of Care tool.
Students can enter information about the procedure or treatment they need and their location. The tool then estimates their out-of-pocket costs based on this information. Students can also compare the cost of services across different providers to find an affordable option for their health needs.
If members have questions about accessing the cost of care estimator, they can contact Wellfleet’s Customer Service team by choosing Help in the Wellfleet Student app or by calling (877) 657-5030.
In addition to our cost-of-care tool, we offer several other resources to help our members manage healthcare costs, including information on how to read medical bills, tips for negotiating charges, and resources for getting financial assistance. Discover how Wellfleet is saving schools and students money through our careful attention to cost-saving strategies.
Learn more about Wellfleet Student
At Wellfleet, we’re always working to improve the student healthcare experience. As the only health insurance plan built for students, we’re experts at customizing health coverage for the needs of college students. Whether we’re increasing cost transparency or finding savings opportunities, we have students at the forefront of our minds.
Contact our Sales team to learn more about how we can provide your students with the coverage they need.
1 AMA. (2023, March 20). Trends in health care spending. American Medical Association. https://www.ama-assn.org/about/research/trends-health-care-spending.
2 Gallup. (2022, December 5). Stress Prominent Among U.S. Adults Struggling to Pay for Care. Gallup News. https://news.gallup.com/opinion/gallup/406178/stress-prominent-among-adults-struggling-pay-care.aspx.
3 Gallup. (2023, January 17). Record High in U.S. Put Off Medical Care Due to Cost in 2022. Gallup News. https://news.gallup.com/poll/468053/record-high-put-off-medical-care-due-cost-2022.aspx.
4 Wellfleet. (2023, June 6). Building the ideal student health plan survey. Retrieved August 1, 2023. Unpublished company document.