More healthcare cost transparency for MA, NH consumers
Health care consumers in Massachusetts and New Hampshire are now getting tools that will allow them to shop for health care services and find out in advance how much their medical procedures will cost. Both states are among the first states in the nation to pass price transparency laws for consumers. North Carolina is a third state.
Of New Hampshire, the above linked article in the Concord Monitor says:
"New Hampshire was one of two states in the country to receive an â€œAâ€ rating on an independent scorecard grading statesâ€™ transparency in health care pricing this spring. That was largely due to a state-run website that compiles average medical care prices and compares them by insurance plan and by procedure."
In Massachusetts, things are more complex and still being worked out. But since October, health insurers have been required to provide members with cost estimates for specific tests, procedures and office visits within two working days of request. According to the Boston Globe:
"By next October, insurers will have to provide this information instantaneously. By January, hospitals and doctors will be required to provide their own cost estimates to patients."
These cost transparency measures are designed to make consumers more savvy about costs and more informed shoppers which, in turn, should stimulate competition and curb costs.
Many consumers are still unaware of these measures so whether or not you provide health insurance products, this is an opportunity to inform or educate your clients about an insurance related matter.