Health care providers will have to be more upfront with their prices, under a bill passed by the Legislature. The state Senate on Tuesday unanimously approved the legislation, which requires providers ranging from doctors to dentists to tell patients what the average cost of a procedure will be.

State Senator Jim Sullivan (D-Wauwatosa) says the bill will allow consumers to make an “apple to apple” comparison for commonly performed health care services.

The bill also requires insurance companies to provide estimates for what a patient could end up paying. Sullivan says far too many people go in for a procedure without knowing that information. He says no other marketplace requires people to sign up for a vital service without knowing what it’s going to cost them.

The Wauwatosa Democrat says the measure could also lower health care costs by driving competition.

The bill is now on its way to the governor’s desk.

AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports (1:00)


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