(Editor’s note: Be sure to read the first article in this series, Bringing pharmacy costs into the light: Transparency is key to capping costs.)

To spend your money wisely, you need to know how much something costs before you buy it. Right?

That is the thinking behind the Transparency in Coverage Rule, which took effect on July 1. The rule, issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), requires U.S. health insurers and group health plans to post cost-sharing data in machine-readable files online. Insurers must include the rates negotiated with providers for covered items and services, as well as historical billed and allowed amounts for out-of-network care.

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