BATON ROUGE – Starting Jan. 1, 2019, hospitals nationwide are required to post their gross charges for all procedures, drugs and supplies. This is in keeping with a federal requirement aimed at making healthcare costs more transparent to consumers.
“While it’s good to see more information becoming available that patients can take into account when making their healthcare decisions, it’s important to remember that a hospital’s listed charge isn’t necessarily what you will pay,” said Mike Bertaut, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana healthcare economist and author of the insurer’s Straight Talk blog.
“Insurance companies like Blue Cross negotiate with their in-network providers to set the costs on what they will cover and what the providers can charge our customers,” Bertaut said. “In addition, if the provider is not in your network, the charges will be different than if they are in-network. It’s important to refer to your health plan benefits and coverage to get an accurate idea of what you will pay for care.”
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana offers some tips that all Louisianians with health insurance can use to find out what they can expect to pay for healthcare services.
For year-round tips on saving money with your healthcare costs, visit bcbsla.com/save-money.
Bertaut’s blog, Straight Talk, shares information on healthcare reform, costs and quality. The blog is updated typically weekly and includes articles, video and podcasts. Customers are encouraged to visit Straight Talk to see news and updates.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is committed to our mission to improve the health and lives of Louisianians. We invest both time and money in the communities we serve, supporting the health and wellbeing of Louisianians through more than 200 charitable organizations.
With our subsidiaries, HMO Louisiana and Southern National Life, we provide group and individual health insurance plans, life and disability insurance, group voluntary products and administrative services to one out of four Louisiana residents. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana also provides Medicare supplement and Medicare Advantage plans and is a partner in offering the Healthy Blue Medicaid Managed care plan. Louisiana is the only state where we operate, with offices in every major region to serve our customers.
Founded in New Orleans in 1934, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is a tax-paying non-profit health insurer. We are a private mutual company, owned by our policyholders, with an independent Louisiana Board of Directors and no shareholders. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.
To learn more, visit our website at www.bcbsla.com.