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Consumers May Have Easier Time Comparing Medical Prices with Affordable Care Act

Updated: Friday, August 2 2013, 09:14 PM EDT
We all shop around for a lot of things, but health care is generally one area where American's don't seek bargains. Soon, health care consumers may have an easier time comparing prices for procedures and services between hospitals. Marcie Kobriger, from our sister station in Grand Rapids, Michigan, explains how the Affordable Care Act may make that possible.

From the best price at the grocery store to the best value for a home, many people want to make sure they snag the best possible deal. So why does that same bargain hunting mentality rarely apply where Americans spend more than three hundred billion dollars out of pocket annually?

One could than argue the rising cost of health care is supply and demand at work. But what if you knew the costs upfront?

A provision in the Affordable Care Act could make that possible. It states every hospital is required to "establish (and update) and make public a list of the hospital's standard charges for items and services provided."

It would effectively allow you to compare what procedures will cost at your local hospital. It is one paragraph in the nearly thousand page bill, which care providers have had help in implementing. Consumers May Have Easier Time Comparing Medical Prices with Affordable Care Act


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Enrollment for healthcare exchanges as part of healthcare reform begins October 1 in states where exchanges will be set up. Expect special reports each week from us about what you need to know about 'Obamacare' and the ongoing political fight about its future.

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