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Medica Health Plan To Create Mobile Application For Comparing Health Care Costs

To help consumers compare cost information

Medica, a Minneapolis-based health insurance company, has launched a mobile application to help consumers compare cost information for a variety of medical procedures. The app, based on its web portal is available at the iPhone App Store.

Medica is making the mobile app available as the demand for consumer health information has increased. According to an analysis published by Manhattan Research in February 2009, more than 10 million US adults use mobile devices for health information.

That’s not surprising as consumers are paying a greater share of their health care. Meanwhile, the trend toward better informed, empowered consumers helps promote market-based reforms and greater competition.

MainStreetMedica.com was launched several years ago to provide consumers with access to comparative pricing information about physicians and facilities. The site allows users to compare costs on common procedures at hundreds of clinics and facilities. The prices on the site are based on the health plan’s in-network contract rates with providers in its Medica Choice network.

Both the Main Street Medica mobile app and the web site are available to all consumers, not just Medica members.

Rob Longendyke, senior vice president of marketing and corporate communications of Medica, said: “MainStreetMedica.com is a proven resource for consumers who want to know how much a medical service or treatment will cost before they have a procedure. With the launch of this mobile app, we are answering the call to make that information available to people when and where they want it.”