Part of the issues relative to controlling costs in medical expenses is the lack of transparency in health care organizations. When you shop for any other product outside of this category, you can compare prices, whether it is for buying car insurance, homeowners coverage or tires. Why doesn't health care provide the same opportunity?

One reason consumer health plans haven't increased in popularity is the lack of available price comparison in medical procedure costs and treatment options. But, for decades, people have paid through the nose for health care because of no transparency or very few options in the market place to view the costs of health care.

A transparent cost network (TCN) makes cost information available to members by provider and procedure along with the members' resulting cost sharing. Members are able to compare providers directly to see what they will pay in advance of the service being performed, according to MCOL and Milliman. In no other area of our economy do consumers receive services where they do not know the cost in advance and are not able to make comparisons to alternative suppliers. As a result, health care provider costs have remained immune from the economic forces that could control them.

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