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June 7, 2023

“Under the Coverage” Podcast Talks Price Transparency Tools

Become a more informed consumer of care with new online tools

Imagine having the ability to evaluate medical providers and services based on quality, cost, and location. Nova’s latest podcast discusses how price transparency tools work and how they will benefit us as consumers of health care.

This week’s episode of “Under the Coverage” features Liz Thelen, senior project manager at Nova, who helped lead the implementation of Nova’s price comparison tool. The average person likely spends more time reading Amazon reviews before buying a new blender than they do researching how much it costs to get a mammogram or MRI. Price transparency tools finally allow patients to research the cost of medical services and make more informed decisions about care.

Recent federal legislation requires group health plans and health insurers to provide information on health care pricing in a publicly accessible place. Beginning this year, that includes an online price comparison tool that discloses cost-sharing information.

“So, the goal is to increase transparency and provide members with some resources to estimate cost for services,” explains Thelen. “It’s required to show the prices for medical services, but specific to an individual person. So, the tool sort of knows what your benefit plan is, what your copays are, what your deductible is. And it even knows how far you are towards your deductible or if you’ve already met it. So, the prices that it shows will be specific to you, specific to your play on and specific to where you are in the year.”

Nova partnered with technology solutions company Green Light to host its price comparison tool. In addition to cost estimates based on individual benefit plan, network, deductible and copays, the tool allows members to search quality ratings across different providers.  Members will ultimately be able to search for more than 15,000 services.

While price comparison tools empower consumers with much more information than previously available, there are some caveats. For example, costs shown are estimates as the tool does not know how your provider will bill certain services or how services may change during an office visit or procedure.

Listen to the latest episode, “Price Comparison Tools and Caveats,” to learn more about how you can use these new tools to make the most educated choices when it comes to your health care.

Nova launched “Under the Coverage,” a podcast featuring people who spend their working days focused on health benefits and health care, to share their insider tips and information they wish every health care consumer knew.


How to Listen

New episodes – each 15 minutes or less! – are added regularly and are available on SoundCloud, Stitcher, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Pandora (new!), Amazon Music and TuneIn. You can also listen via digital assistants like Alexa, Google and Cortana. Just ask Alexa to, “play the Under the Coverage podcast on Apple Podcasts” (or wherever you get your podcasts).

Have an idea for a future episode or a question you’d like answered? Find Under the Coverage on Twitter @UndrTheCoverage or email