New law will allows patients to see prices of health care services

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Posted at 6:22 PM, Dec 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-30 19:56:20-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A law that would show the prices of health care services before treatment will take effect on January 1, 2020.

The Tennessee Right to Shop Act requires health insurance companies to create an interactive digital marketplace for people seeking healthcare. It would show prices of services ranging from x-rays and MRIs to physical therapy.

The bill's sponsor is a retired nurse who wanted patients to have a better understanding of what they're paying for.

"All of this is coming out of our pockets," said state representative Robin Smith of Chattanooga. "I have a deductible as an individual with a state insurance plan of $3,000. My family has a $5,000 copay and I've only met $600 of that. Meaning I've paid my premiums and I'm still paying cash because I haven't met my deductible. This will help people shop and get better value fort hat which they're paying cash for."

The bill passed in the 111th general assembly, but Smith said it was with much resistance from insurance companies.

"It's only in healthcare that no one knows the prices in advance," she said.

The bill could benefit families and healthcare businesses alike. Steve Chapek, owner of Senior Care Advisor Group, said he plans to use the marketplace to help his clients and for his own family.

"I'd love to see something that's a cost comparison. So, I could look at it and make a decision for myself whether I want to go with X, Y or Z company," said Chapek.