When I am buying a big ticket item I do a little research, do some cost comparisons, now you can do that for health care because hospitals are now required to post the cost at that that hospital.

According to a story at the Sun Journal some of the prices sheets are easier to find on some sites and there are different formats or file names. It is a new system so they are still working out the bugs.  I easily found the information on the MaineGeneral website.

But is not totally new for Maine. Our hospitals have been required by state law to provide some information upon request and at a website for this sort of info... Compare Maine.  So this new requirement will only add to the information that is available for health care consumers.  That is good…right?  I think so.

BUT these listings are not a do all end for information.  I learned this the hard way and ended up with a bill much more than I had anticipated.  The example that was giving the Sun Journal story pointed to a knee surgery.  Yes, the surgery may be one amount, but there are other cost like the anesthesiologist, and that is billed separately.  Also, these are the prices before your insurance kicks in.  If you do not have insurance you can talk with the hospital about programs they may have to help you.

To know what something is going to cost you will take some work.  You have to do some research, maybe talk to the hospital billing office, your insurance company.  But the information is there and that is a good thing.