Want a clue about health care costs in advance? New tools take a crack at it
Need medical treatment in the new year and want to nail down your out-of-pocket costs before you walk into the doctor's office? There's a new tool for that, at least for insured patients.
As of Jan. 1, health insurers and employers that offer health plans must provide online calculators for patients to get detailed estimates of what they will owe — taking into account deductibles and copayments — for a range of services and drugs.
It's the latest effort in an ongoing movement to make prices and upfront cost comparisons possible in a business known for its opaqueness.
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