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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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People cutouts with stethoscope The bill’s novel “in-network guarantee” would require that any hospital considered “in-network” for a health plan must promise that everyone working there is also in-network. (Photo: Shutterstock)

In a year already marked by a wide variety of congressional health care legislation, Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.), the chair and ranking Democrat of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, on Thursday released the details of a plan they hope can help bring down health costs and eliminate surprise medical bills for patients.

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