Best Websites and Tools to Save on Your Health, 2016
Keys to finding less-expensive pharmaceuticals and cutting costs for health care.
The picks below are part of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance’s annual Best List, a roundup of the best values in all the areas we cover – from funds, stocks and ETFs to credit cards and bank accounts to cars, college, kid stuff, phone plans, travel and health. Discover all our Best List picks here.
Health care cost estimator
At FAIR Health’s Consumer Cost Lookup, you can see the estimated charges (based on costs for your ZIP code) for thousands of medical and dental procedures.
Way to save on prescription drugs
GoodRx.com compares costs for your drugs at local and mail-order pharmacies. It also offers coupons that you can print out immediately, details about manufacturers’ assistance programs, information about lower-cost generics and therapeutic alternatives, other savings tips, and a pharmacy discount card. You can download a mobile app to compare costs at the doctor’s office.
Medicare.gov’s Hospital Compare makes it easy to check up on a hospital you would use in an emergency or one you’re considering for a procedure—even if you aren’t on Medicare. The site offers data on quality, safety and patient experience for more than 4,000 hospitals.
Health savings account
If you have a high-deductible health insurance policy and want to invest in an HSA for the long term—and your employer doesn’t offer an HSA or has poor investing choices—consider Health Savings Administrators. You can invest in any of 22 Vanguard funds (12 of which include low-cost Admiral shares) with no minimum, and the company recently added about 70 new fund choices from TIAA, T. Rowe Price, Dimensional and MFS. The annual administrative fee is $45, plus a custodial fee of 62.5 cents per $1,000 every three months for all (except for the TIAA and Price funds, which have no custodial fee).
The Fitbit Charge 2 ($150) packs a lot of features into a 0.84-inch-wide wristband. Besides tracking your steps, the device counts calories burned, distance traveled and flights of stairs climbed. It also monitors your heart rate and sleep habits. The small display shows the time and your activity stats, and it will alert you to calls or texts to your Apple or Android phone.