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(INDIANAPOLIS) – You pay more for health care than most other states. Legislators hope to do something about it in the upcoming session.

The Health Care Cost Institute calculates Indiana’s costs rank 14th in the nation as of 2017, and hospital stays rank fifth. Senate President Pro Tem Rod Bray says lowering costs is a multiyear task, but says legislators can take some relatively simple steps now, like requiring hospitals to make clear up front what they charge for different procedures. House Speaker Brian Bosma envisions an online transparency portal where patients, doctors and insurers can see for themselves what he says are sometimes “shocking disparities” in the cost for the same procedure.

Both parties support efforts to tighten Indiana’s protections against so-called “surprise billing,” where you don’t find out until after a hospital stay that not all your doctors were part of your network. Anderson Representative Terri Austin says Democrats will have their own proposals, especially on drug costs. The HCCI study ranked Indiana prescription costs the nation’s 20th-lowest, but Austin says there are plenty of horror stories about diabetics trying to scrimp on insulin or homebrew their own. She says Democrats are considering proposing price caps.

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