The Hospital Transparency Rule was intended to be used as a tool for Americans to understand their medical bills, and shop around and limit potential costs. But is it actually effective? Not exactly, according to Jae Oh, CFP, author of Maximize Your Medicare.
One thing this rule has done is shown how the price of health care is affected by all of the different elements that go into it, such as stakeholders, doctors and hospitals. For example, imagine you need surgery. Obviously, there is the surgeon and the hospital who will need to be paid. But there is also the x-ray technician, the anesthesiologist and more who will also play a role.
“Even though there's transparency, there are so many layers in health care delivery,” said Oh.
With the increased transparency, some people have learned it would be less expensive for them to pay cash only for their medical bills instead of with insurance, although Oh, a certified financial planner, does not recommend this.
Even things like elective surgery, which would seemingly be easier to shop around, are not actually easy to get the cheapest price, because of insurance policies.
“Elective surgery is going to be difficult, because remember that individual health insurance companies have the right to approve or not approve surgical procedures,” said Oh.
Everyone should look at a plan that would work best for themself. Utilizing the same plan as their neighbor is likely not the most effective plan for them.