From $25,000 to $5,500: Bluebook Member Shares His Savings Story


Healthcare Bluebook’s (Bluebook) purpose is to protect patients by exposing the true quality and cost of healthcare and empowering choice. To that end, Bluebook serves a variety of clients including employers and their enrolled benefits members, health plan administrators, brokers and consultants, third-party administrators, and healthcare-sharing ministries¾organizations uniquely designed to help the uninsured pay for medical expenses by sharing costs with ministry members through a pooled fund.

Recently, a Bluebook CareConnect™ member (and sharing ministry participant) visited an urgent care clinic where he was diagnosed with an inguinal hernia that required surgery. The clinic recommended a surgeon who was able to quickly schedule the procedure. After making the arrangements, the member inquired about the cost and received three quotes:

  1. Surgeon: $1,525.28 with a $458.48 discount for self-pay
  2. Anesthesiologist: $1,230 with a $560 discount for self-pay
  3. Hospital: $23,518 with no discount for self-pay
  4. Total estimated costs: $25,254.80

Understandably, the member was especially shocked by the facility charges. He took a closer look at his sharing ministry resources and discovered concierge support through Bluebook CareConnect.

A member shares his story

I'm a bit old-fashioned and probably naive when it comes to doctors and health care costs. I assumed that what medical facilities charged for various procedures was always fair and reasonable. Why should I assume that they were not? However, the cost for the hospital was really alarming. I didn't know what to expect, but this seemed really high.

I knew that [my sharing ministry] often talked about the high cost of medical procedures and steps to take to reduce cost. I went to [their] website and started looking into this in more depth. That's where I discovered Healthcare Bluebook.

I was familiar with Kelley Blue Book when buying cars, but I had no idea that there was a group out there that provided similar information regarding health care. What I found out was astounding: the total 'fair' cost for my procedure should be in the $5,000 to $6,000 range, not $25,000!

I contacted Healthcare Bluebook and eventually connected with Jami [a member concierge] who was wonderful. She went right to work and found a local surgery center that would do the surgery for $3,400; an astounding $20,000 less than what the local hospital had quoted.

What made this so wonderful was that the same surgeon would do the surgery and the same anesthesiologist would be attending. [The concierge] made all the arrangements with the surgery center, including payment. She kept me well-informed of who she had been in contact with and where she was in the process.

The total cost for the surgery ended up being $5,522.67, much more in line with what Healthcare Bluebook suggested it should be. I thank God for [the sharing ministry], and for leading me to Healthcare Bluebook. This was such a blessing!

I strongly recommend that anyone facing any type of medical procedure do some homework on what are 'reasonable' medical costs, and definitely get in contact with Healthcare Bluebook and see what they can do to find a more cost-effective solution.

Bluebook can do the same for you

Without guidance, finding high-quality affordable medical services can be difficult when prices for the same procedure can vary by as much as 1000% between in-network facilities in the same general location.

Bluebook member advocates, member concierges and provider operations specialists guide members to high-value providers every day, saving them potentially thousands of dollars per case on shoppable procedures and diagnostic services.

More about Bluebook Member Services

Member advocates are available to assist all Bluebook members with general questions related to use of our green-yellow-red digital guide for desktop/mobile/tablet, including assistance locating local high-quality affordable providers.

Member concierges and provider operations specialists are available to assist all members whose benefits include Bluebook CareConnect.

Learn more about Bluebook CareConnect or Contact Us to try our free search tool and schedule a Bluebook demo.

three men reviewing data from a Healthcare Bluebook case study