Missouri Senate bill would create online healthcare estimates

Thursday, April 7, 2011 | 7:00 a.m. CDT; updated 12:49 p.m. CDT, Thursday, April 7, 2011

JEFFERSON CITY — Legislation advancing in the Missouri Senate could allow residents to get a cost estimate from insurers before heading to the doctor or hospital.

The bill would require health insurers to create Internet sites by July 2012 that would allow people to estimate their out-of-pocket costs — as well as the total cost — for various medical procedures and tests. Senators gave the plan first-round approval Wednesday by a voice vote.

The measure, Missouri Senate Bill 122, is sponsored by state Sen. Rob Schaaf, R-St. Joesph, who is a physician. He says the online price estimates should help drive down the cost of health care.




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Jimmy Bearfield April 7, 2011 | 8:38 a.m.

Will these sites be available only to each insurer's customers? Or to everyone else, too? I'm self-pay, and pricing information would be helpful when comparison shopping.

(Report Comment)
Mike Sykuta April 7, 2011 | 9:18 a.m.

This is the first substantial proposal to significantly reform the health care market in a way that is likely to have meaningful and sustained effect in reducing health care costs. However, it would be much better for this information to be provided by the health care providers themselves (at least at the hospital level) instead of through the health insurance companies. This would allow for more transparent and even pricing, especially for individuals who may currently not have third-party health care coverage.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams April 7, 2011 | 11:13 a.m.

For those of you who think gov't can provide affordable medical plans for those who cannot get insurance, you should check out Missouri's site:

Click on premiums, then click on either the federal or state programs. You'll also enjoy reading about your so-call "benefits" under each plan.

Affordable, my a$$. There are good reasons participation is sooooo low.

(Report Comment)
Louis Schneebaum April 7, 2011 | 2:34 p.m.

Yeah, internet searches will fix our massive disaster. In a totally capitalist society without restrictions (i.e. what Repugs want), it would be better than nothing...

(Report Comment)
John Schultz April 7, 2011 | 3:00 p.m.

Well Louis, explain why my insurance purchased on the private market is a third of the best price available in the link that Michael provided?

(Report Comment)
Louis Schneebaum April 7, 2011 | 6:36 p.m.
This comment has been removed.
John Schultz April 8, 2011 | 12:42 a.m.

Stay classy!

(Report Comment)

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