Ask Amy: How you can check prices of local doctors and medical procedures online


Thank you for signing up for my “Ask Amy” newsletter! This will be the place I will catch you up on the biggest consumer stories of the week. If you missed something I mentioned from one of the newscasts, you won’t have to go searching for the story online. I will try to include helpful links here to save you time. 

Speaking of saving time, on Monday I shared details of this new website that lets you check prices of doctors and medical procedures in your area. It’s called CarePay. The site is brand new, so we tested it with a woman who needs to get several MRIs every year.

Here’s the Cliffs Notes version: You sign up. Type in your zip code and what type of provider or service you need and you get results and prices immediately. But here’s the most useful part: You can also request a quote. Let’s say your doctor said you need to get an MRI of your brain. You type that in along with the maximum price you want to pay. A CarePay representative then calls providers in your area to find the lowest price. They send you the information in an email. If you like the doctor, you call and make an appointment. The site is designed for self-pay patients, those who have no insurance or whose deductibles are so high, it makes more sense to pay out-of-pocket for some visits and procedures. The site and quote service are free.

Hey parents- did you hear about this? 

LEGO wants your old bricks. Don’t Throw them away. The company announced a new recycling program, called 'LEGO Replay.'

LEGO lets you print a shipping label from its website so you can ship unused, or unwanted LEGO bricks back to the company.

The company says it will clean the bricks, and give them to the non-profit Teach For America, to donate to classrooms around the country.

The best and worst-rated car insurance companies

This story got a lot of clicks on my Facebook page: The best and worst-rated car insurance companies. If you're not shopping around for car insurance every year or so, you're probably spending more than you have to. 

A recent study shows you shouldn't just be looking at the big companies with slick ads. They ranked in the middle or at the bottom of Consumer Reports' rankings of auto insurance companies. The companies were scored based on claims satisfaction, premiums and non-claims service among other things.

Recognize your company?  

Worst Rankings

- Nationwide scored just 71 out of 100 points, getting a poor rating for the price of its premiums.
- Liberty Mutual and Allstate both got 72 points with poor premium prices. 
- Progressive got 75 points with a fair rating for its premiums. 
- GEICO got a 78 with a good rating for its premium prices. 

Best Rankings
- USAA is at the top of the list with 92 out of 100 points. You have to be in the military or be a military family to get USAA insurance.
- The highest-rated car insurance company that anyone can get is Amica Mutal Group with an 89.

Now go make a few phone calls and see if you can get a better rate and better service!

Got something you want me to research? Let me know at adavis@kprc.com. And be sure to follow me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AmyDavisKPRC/.