Health care costs

How to make price transparency work for health care costs

There's a lot of skepticism about whether making prices more transparent will do anything to lower them, but there are ways to maximize the odds, Gilbert Benavidez and Austin Frakt write in JAMA Forum.

Driving the news: Both the Trump administration and Congress are pushing pricing transparency measures, banking on the idea that if consumers know how much health care services cost, they'll opt for the cheaper ones.

Health care costs as much as a new car

Illustration of a car key with a health plus on the unlock button.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Buying a new car every year would be a very impractical expense. It would also be cheaper than a year’s worth of health care for a family.

Why it matters: The cost-shifting and complexity of health insurance can hide its high cost, which crowds out families’ other needs and depresses workers’ wages.