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Instant Insights / Health Care Cost Transparency, Surprise Billing, and the Employee Benefits Industry

Typically, patients, and their employers, don't know the cost of health care or are given inaccurate estimates. Then come the surprise medical bills and costly overruns of employers' benefits budgets. Here's a look at the health care cost transparency problem and how people are trying to solve it.

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woman looking at question marks Among the difficulties under the CMS’s new price-transparency rule is the fact that the consumer will have no idea from the posted prices how his or her insurance will affect the final total. (Photo: Getty)

On January 1, a new Centers for Medicare and Medicaid rule requiring hospitals to post their prices online went into effect, but it hasn’t been the price transparency silver bullet they hoped for. As many consumers are finding–and news outlets, including the New York Times, are reporting–having the prices posted doesn’t mean that the data is intelligible.

Marlene Satter

Marlene Y. Satter has worked in and written about the financial industry for decades.

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