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Fox News: Private Insurance Health Care Costs 300% Higher Than Medicare, Dr. Osborn Comments

The report reveals ‘real price transparency’ for US hospitals, which many claim has been lacking

Published May 15, 2024 1:28pm EDT

A recent report by RAND Corp. reveals that Americans with private health insurance may be paying significantly more for medical care compared to those with public insurance like Medicare. As of 2022, private insurers and employers paid an average of 254% more for medical services than what Medicare would have paid. The study highlighted that in some states, including Florida, costs were over 300% higher than Medicare rates.

Brian Briscombe from RAND noted the unprecedented nature of the study, which analyzed claims data from over 4,000 hospitals, emphasizing its transparency. The report is intended to help employers make better-informed healthcare purchasing decisions.

Dr. Brett Osborn, longevity medicine expert and neurosurgeon not involved in the study, expressed concern over the high costs billed to private insurers, which are then passed on to patients through higher premiums and out-of-pocket expenses. He stated, “Hospitals bill private insurers multiples of the Medicare allowable. The elevated costs are passed onto patients, resulting in higher premiums and out-of-pocket expenses.”

Osborn also highlighted the significant price variations among states and pointed out that despite federal rules for price transparency, only 24.5% of hospitals comply, underlining the need for policy changes to manage costs effectively. He emphasized, "The system is fundamentally flawed, designed to profit from illness rather than promote health. It clearly favors hospital systems, not the patients, reinforcing the harsh reality: There is money in the sick."

The full version of this article was published on Fox News by Melissa Rudy on May 15, 2024.