(Bloomberg) – The Health Care Cost Institute (HCCI) plans to post detailed health care price information on the Internet starting in early 2015.
HCCI, an industry coalition, hopes to use aggregated data from insurers to offer consumers a “reference price” for what specific health services typically cost in a consumer’s community, according to David Newman, the executive director of the Washington-based institute.
Customers of an insurer that participates in the program will get more precise information about prices, including how much a customer might have to pay out-of-pocket for a specific service, Newman said.
HCCI officials said the new program will combine details on commercial payments to health providers with data from the insurers’ Medicare and Medicaid plans, when possible. Data from other public and private insurance programs may be added later.
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Three insurers – UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE:UNH); Aetna Inc. (NYSE:AET); and Humana Inc. (NYSE:HUM) – said they will send price data to the program.
Kaiser, which has been an institute partner, will not participate.
Two other large carriers – WellPoint Inc. (NYSE:WLP) and Cigna Corp. (NYSE:CI) – declined to be involved, representatives for the insurers said.