Lowering health care costs

Lowering health care costs

Monday, May 15, 2023

Indiana ranks seventh in the nation for the highest health-care costs, limiting Hoosiers' access to high-quality health care and creating a financial strain on families and employers.

This year, Senate Republicans passed House Enrolled Act 1004, which requires "truth in billing" for Indiana's largest hospital systems and prohibits them from automatically billing at the hospital rate for services performed by their office-based providers – potentially saving Hoosiers millions of dollars.

Services provided in an office setting are billed at significantly cheaper rates than services provided in a hospital, but hospital-owned doctor offices frequently charge at the higher hospital rate – subjecting patients to unnecessarily high medical bills and insurance claims.

HEA 1004 also requires insurers and health plan administrators to share health-care claims data with employers who sponsor employee health coverage so employers can make more informed decisions about how to get the most affordable coverage for their employees. Finally, the new law also requires the state government to study prices paid by commercial health plans for services at the state's largest hospital systems to more precisely gauge how Indiana's prices compare to the rest of the nation. For more information on HEA 1004, click here.

In recent years, the General Assembly has passed several laws to help lower health-care costs, including requiring hospitals to post their average prices online, restricting abusive practices by pharmacy benefit managers, banning employer "gag clauses" by insurance companies, ending surprise billing and establishing an All-Payers Claims Database.

By helping ensure Hoosiers can afford health care, Indiana can continue to foster healthy families and develop a strong workforce key to our state's success.