SingleCare joins AZ healthcare market

SingleCare, an online health care retailer, launched Wednesday in Arizona.

The company has already signed 9,000 residents and 4,000 health care providers up for its services during a trial period that began a year ago.

Unlike conventional insurance, SingleCare has no premiums and instead relies on pre-negotiated prices for prescriptions and treatment, which are paid at the time of use. Company officials said prescription prices in particular can be up to half the price of standard prices and can be filled at commonly found pharmacies such as Walgreens, CVS and Rite Aid.

"Health care doesn't have to be as hard to figure out, or as expensive, as it currently is," SingleCare CEO and Co-Founder Rick Bates said. "As premiums and deductibles rise, people are becoming more savvy about how they spend their health care dollars. They are looking for quality care at a fair price, and it's been pretty hard to find. SingleCare gives people access to great providers and publishes their prices online so people can shop for their health care like they shop for other consumer goods and services."

The company hopes to close the gap for health care in Arizona, where polls have shown more than 14 percent of people lack medical coverage.

Arizona is the first Western market for SingleCare, which also operates in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C.

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