To receive advance estimates of their medical care costs

Premera has expanded its online tool that will enable patients to receive advance estimates of their medical care costs. It would also help physicians to get paid faster, claims the company.

With Premera’s real-time estimate and claim submission tool, doctors’ offices can produce nearly-instantaneous out-of-pocket expense estimates for their patients.

Doctors’ offices can also use the Web-based program to submit their claims to Premera for processing in real time, thus cutting paperwork and postage and shortening the period for reimbursement by days.

Rich Maturi, senior vice president for Health Care Delivery Systems, said: “This puts the price tag on the medical service up front, much like any other service consumers buy. We’re excited to make this tool available to our provider network in Washington and Alaska. We know from talking to providers and members that people want more access to information about the costs of healthcare. This online cost estimator allows for immediate conversations between medical professionals and patients at the time of service.”

Premera is a US-based insurance company which offers health and related insurance services.