Money·2 min read

What Seeing Healthcare Prices Online Could Mean for Your Wallet

December 4, 2019

Last month, the Trump admin announced a new rule that makes hospitals publish the rates they negotiate with insurance companies. Hospitals...aren’t pleased. And they’re suing the federal gov over it. Here’s what the price transparency rule could mean for your wallet – if lawsuits don’t get in the way. 

You’ll have more say in what you pay. If hospitals share their prices online, patients can comparison shop for care. Even if you still choose the costly options, you’ll know what you’re getting into ahead of time. And be able to prepare accordingly. (Though critics point out that isn’t always possible in an emergency.)

You could pay less for drugs and doc visits. If everyone can see what hospitals are charging, things could get more competitive. And higher competition usually leads to lower prices. But some experts warn it could backfire. Allowing hospitals to raise prices to match what their rivals are charging. 

theSkimm: Almost everyone agrees that healthcare costs too much. Trump thinks price transparency can help with that. Or at the very least, give patients more power. But hospitals aren’t too eager to share their secrets. And say doing so could actually make things more expensive. Not ideal. 

No matter what happens next, it’s a good idea to understand what your insurance plan covers. Aaand what it leaves out. So you can make educated decisions when you need prescriptions and other healthcare services.

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