Texas patients will soon get access to more information about the price of healthcare and about how their health insurance plans operate because of a law that's slated to take effect next month.
The lawpart of an ongoing, nationwide push for more transparency in healthcarerequires doctors, hospitals and health plans to disclose details about payment policies, quality of care and benefit limits.
The law's practical significance is still unclear because much of the data are already available online. And although the law requires that patients be warned about certain medical bills, it places no new restrictions on what healthcare providers can charge.
Nonetheless, supporters say the new requirements should help patients compare health plans and make better healthcare decisions.
"What it's doing is opening up a variety of ways that this information can get to a consumer," said Margaret Jarvis, a spokeswoman for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas. "It's a step in the right direction because it gives a more accurate out-of-pocket picture on the cost of healthcare to consumers."
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