How to Get the Best Health Care at the Right Price

Feb 19, 2021 / Amanda Chase, Horsesmouth Associate Editor

Philip Moeller, author of the helpful new book Get What’s Yours for Health Care, says you need to be your own advocate to save on health care expenses. “If people act like sheep, they’re going to get fleeced,” he said. This article, and the podcast that accompanies it, offer some advice on keeping your health costs down without sacrificing on quality.

Moeller—who writes the “Ask Phil” column on PBS NewsHour’s Making Sense website—said that in researching his book, he found there was no correlation between the cost of health care and the quality of health care. In fact, he said, often the best health care is less expensive.

  • Two money-saving apps Moeller suggests checking out: Healthcare Bluebook and Rally, available through health insurers such as Aetna, Cigna and United Healthcare.
  • Use telemedicine: a HealthAffairs study found that found a typical telehealth doctor’s visit costs about $80, while an office visit runs $146, on average.
  • Moeller is a big fan of talking to your health insurer before you need your care to help save money. That way, you’ll know what would be covered and what wouldn’t if you need a medical procedure. He believes many of us overpay for health care costs because we don’t do our homework.
  • To lower your prescription drug costs, Moeller said, use a discount pricing service like GoodRx. It can check prices of generics at over 7,000 pharmacies so you can see how they compare and how to save on medications.
  • Ask your pharmacist what your prescription would cost if you didn’t use your health insurance to pay for it. Sometimes, medications cost less outside of insurance.

You can find the full article (and podcast) at Next Avenue.


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