The same goes for prescription drugs, just by calling around you can find that certain pharmacies charge a lot less for a drug than another. There are even online options which could save you even more money.
As deductibles and prescription copays have steadily increased, it's a good thing to shop around.
Low Cost Labs and Tests
Most labs and tests vary by up to 300%, so why not go to a place that's less expensive. There are two sites to check out when looking for a lab or test (BTW, you will still need a prescription from your doctor for the test, so get that before you walk out the door).
This is a great site that is fed by you and I and includes rates for the most common tests and prescriptions. Here is one example in the Chicagoland area. If it includes the procedure you need, then it's a great resource.
In Chicago, the pricing goes from $700+ (probably under $1000) to $2500. Most hospitals actually charge around $2500 - $3500 for the same procedure.
BTW, a friend of mine has negotiated with a doctor to do a full colonoscopy with polop removal for a flat $800 in Hinsdale. You pay upfront and deal with your insurance company. If you want more info, let me know.
Simvestatin, 30 mg tablets for high cholesterol
Leslieslist includes pricing at various drug stores from Costo to Walmart. The range for this generic is $11 for 100 tablets to $42 for 30 tablets.
Yousaveonlabs is run by mdlabtests.com. You can put in your test and it will come up with the cost and allow you to pre-pay for the lab/test. You show up with your receipt and prescriptions, they perform the test and send it to your doctor. Many of these labs are the very same labs that process the tests done at your doctor's office anyway.
Low Cost Prescriptions
Yousaveonmeds allows you to purchase meds from around the world. It is run by a colleague of mine, Marty Portnoy. The key difference is that you need to talk to him before you can order. This means that if you require an FDIC approved manufacturer (from an outside country), he can help guide you to that manufacturer. He even provides a US receipt you can turn into your insurance company.
This is a nifty site based in the US. You put in your meds and pharmacies bid on them using a reverse auction format. As far as I understand, it is all United States based pharmacies and drugs.
If you use these sites, you'll be able be a better consumer and keep more of your money in your pocket.