PriceCheck

Claudia Muñoz/WLRN

Sometime before the end of this year, the state of Florida will have a new website with health care prices for patients. It's the result of a 2016 law and a five-year, $6.1 million  state contract that was finalized earlier this month.

 

The biggest health insurance providers in Florida are expected to contribute prices to the website: Florida Blue, Aetna, United Healthcare, AvMed and others. Under the law, these health insurers will have to share the prices they pay to Florida health care providers on behalf of their patients.

Tom Hudson

Next year is almost here for American insurance companies wanting to sell plans on Healthcare.gov in 2018, assuming it survives the Obamacare repeal-and-replace effort.

President Donald Trump and Republican governors met Monday and the top topic was the Affordable Care Act. The president and congressional Republican leaders have pledged to repeal and replace the federal health insurance law known as Obamacare.

American College of Emergency Physicians

According to a new national poll from the American College of Emergency Physicians, the view on health insurance from the emergency department is pretty grim.

The report released on Tuesday links fear of high costs with worsening health.

Among the findings:

Sira Anamwong / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

About a year ago, the journal Health Affairs published a study of the top 50 American hospitals with the highest cost markups, based on what the hospitals were charging compared to what Medicare would actually pay for services.

Twenty of the top 50 hospitals were in Florida.

It has been four months since WLRN launched Pricecheck, an online guide to bring clarity to health care costs in Florida. Along with our partners WUSF in Tampa and Health News Florida and with input from our audience, we created a searchable database of prices of common health care procedures and supplies aiming to answer a single question: "How much does it cost?"

gutcheck.cancer.gov

When Brenda Sokolowski turned 50, she followed national recommendations and made an appointment for her first screening colonoscopy.

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Health care prices are notoriously difficult to come by ahead of a procedure, but Jackson Health System in South Florida is experimenting with a new approach in price transparency.

Hospitals keep a list of what they charge for health care services—but if you have insurance, that charge may have nothing to do with what your insurance company has negotiated and what your out-of-pocket expenses would be.

What makes Jackson’s Care Quote different from a typical estimate is how it accounts for an individual’s insurance plan.

  Transparency is the new buzzword in health care with consumer demand fueling changes to state laws and giving birth to websites that publish prices for medical procedures.

WUSF partnered with WLRN in Miami to launch their own database called PriceCheck. But we're not the only game in town.

Sammy Mack / WLRN

  Medical debt is one of the leading causes of bankruptcy in the United States. Having health insurance is no guarantee against being swamped by bills after an emergency or a big procedure.

But one Palm Beach County man has found there’s room to negotiate.

wlrn.org/pricecheck


Sammy Mack / WLRN

Mental health care ranks among the most expensive kinds of health care in American medicine—and having a 

mental illness or behavioral disorder can drive up costs for other kinds of care.

But new research suggests that the Affordable Care Act has helped young people with mental illnesses afford health care—especially young blacks and Latinos.

American Academy of Actuaries / www.actuary.org.

Health News Florida has been reporting that Florida’s health insurance companies are asking for double-digit rate increases.

A new analysis from the American Academy of Actuaries, included in its annual look at drivers of health insurance premiums for next year, has some explanation why. 

everydayplus / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Health-care prices are complex and in many ways secret—which can affect how much you end up paying for your health care.

But not everyone agrees on what transparency in health-care pricing should look like.

You can listen to a story about what we mean when we talk about transparency here:

Claudia Muñoz/WLRN

Beginning in July, if you have health insurance and go to an in-network hospital but a doctor who is not in your insurance plan’s network helps you, you aren’t supposed to get a surprise bill. The law is designed to stop what’s called balanced billing - the practice of charging a patient for medical care delivered by doctors outside their insurance network even when the the care was performed at an in-network facility.

 

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