2017 Benefits Open Enrollment: Shop before receiving medical services

October 11, 2016

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State employees and families participating in the University's health insurance plan who are anticipating upcoming medical procedures, tests or office visits have access to a tool that allows them to view the costs of different medical services offered by providers in their area. Since deductibles and coinsurance impact out-of-pocket costs, being educated helps consumers manage medical expenses.

Called the Care Cost Estimator, this tool allows the user to sort by type of service for a specified geographic area and then displays the provider names and locations, provider charges, and the individual’s anticipated out-of-pocket expenses for the selected service.

The Care Cost Estimator may also be used to help faculty and staff become more knowledgeable about the pricing for various medical procedures and services, which may, in turn, assist them in making their health plan elections during the Benefits Open Enrollment period, Nov. 1 to 18.

The Care Cost Estimator can be accessed at the Highmark Blue Shield website. After logging into the site (first-time users will need to register), members will see the Care Cost Estimator link on the lower portion of the home page.

Benefits Open Enrollment provides Penn State employees the annual opportunity to make or change benefits selections by logging into the Employee Self-Service Information Center (ESSIC) online between Nov. 1 and 18, with all changes and updates taking effect on Jan. 1, 2017.

Last Updated October 11, 2016