A survey finds that a majority of Americans have tried to find information about health care prices before getting care, including 21 percent who have compared prices across multiple providers. Most of those who have compared prices say they saved money. We also found that the majority of Americans do not believe higher-priced care is necessarily of better quality. And most say insurance companies should be required to make public how much they pay doctors for medical services.
The majority of Americans have tried to find information about health care prices before getting care.
- 56 percent of Americans say they have tried to find out how much they would have to pay out of pocket—not including a copay—or how much their insurer would have to pay a doctor or hospital, before getting care.
- People with higher deductibles are more likely to have sought price information: 67 percent of those with deductibles of $500 to $3,000 and 74 percent of those with deductibles higher than $3,000 have tried to find price information before getting care.
- People with college degrees and women are more likely to have sought price information than those without degrees and men—62 percent of those with college degrees and 59 percent of women report having done so. Only 40 percent of retired Americans report having done so.
- There are no significant differences by income, age or race/ethnicity in whether or not people have sought price information when taking into consideration other relevant variables.
- Most Americans seem open to looking for better-value care.
- 71 percent of Americans say higher prices are not typically a sign of better-quality medical care.
- 69 percent say insurance companies should be required to make public how much they pay doctors for medical services.
- Even among those who have not ever tried to find out a price before getting care, 57 percent say they would like to know the prices of medical services in advance, and 43 percent would choose less expensive doctors if they knew the prices in advance.