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More than 12-hundred missing in the California wildfires. Also on the Monday rundown: a pair of reports on gun violence in the nation; plus concerns that proposed Green-Card rules favor the wealthy.

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Health Care Costs, Transparency Top Concerns for Voters

Most voters surveyed want hospitals to disclose the markup on the cost of standard medical care. (pixabay)
Most voters surveyed want hospitals to disclose the markup on the cost of standard medical care. (pixabay)
November 5, 2018

ALBANY, N.Y. – As voters make their choices for the midterm election, a new poll finds most Americans are frustrated by the lack of transparency in medical care and prescription drug costs.

Almost 90 percent of respondents to the survey said they want lawmakers to set aside partisan politics and find ways to improve health care.

According to Jason Resendez, a board member at Consumers for Quality Care, at the top of the list of voter concerns is transparency – what is covered by insurance, why is coverage for prescribed treatment denied and what the out-of-pocket cost will be.

"These are some of the issues that folks should be aware of going not just into the midterms when they vote, but also when they're going into the health system," he states.

The survey was conducted by the market research company Ipsos and Consumers for Quality Care.

About two-thirds of voters surveyed believe that Congress, state policymakers and President Donald Trump all can have a significant impact on improving U.S. health care.

Some insurance companies are now denying coverage for emergency room treatment based on a doctor's diagnosis, not the symptoms that prompted a person to seek emergency care.

Resendez emphasizes reading the fine print when choosing a policy.

"It is important to understand that that fine print really does have an impact later,” he stresses. “And then, we're also seeing statewide elected officials are introducing legislation to address this issue around ER room denials."

The poll also found almost 70 percent of voters want hospitals and clinics to disclose how much they are marking up the cost for standard medical care.

Resendez adds Consumers for Quality Care has prepared a checklist highlighting things people should double check when dealing with insurance companies and health care providers.

"It provides some tips on things to look out for including things like surprise medical bills, emergency room denials,” he explains. “It also offers tips on how to read hospital bills."

That checklist is online at consumers4qualitycare.org.

Andrea Sears, Public News Service - NY