Amen....yes it is difficult and depends on what and where you are shopping too...BD 

Heather Foxman was trying to be the health-care bargain shopper backers of increasingly popular consumer-driven insurance plans say Americans should become. The pregnant woman, who has a high-deductible health plan, wanted to know how much she would pay for an ultrasound. After being tossed between clinical and billing departments at Meriter Hospital, St. Mary's Hospital and Dean Health System, she got three similar quotes.

She went to Dean, the lowest bidder at $510. Then the bill came — for $942. But hospitals and doctors' offices, accustomed to insurers' arcane billing codes and negotiated discounts, are often caught off guard by patients who ask about price.

Consumers must check if physician fees are included in such estimates and if the prices factor in insurer discounts, which can be 30 percent or more.



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