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Actuaries: Tell Patients the Prices

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Consumers might do a better job of shopping for health care if providers did a better job of providing price and quality information, actuaries say.

The Society of Actuaries (SOA), Schaumburg, Ill., gauged actuaries’ views on health care price and quality information by surveying about 600 members of the SOA health section.

The SOA also commissioned a separate survey of 1,000 U.S. residents ages 18 and older.

About 39% of the consumers said they believe there is nothing they can do to control their health care expenses, and 37% said they think getting more health care price and quality data would help.

When the SOA surveyed SOA health section members, it found that 86% of the actuaries believe providing more price and quality data can help hold down costs.

About 90% of the actuaries and 83% of the consumers said they believe financial incentives can encourage consumers to live healthier lives and shop more effectively for health care.