N.J. doctors may have to offer cost prognosis

A measure to protect consumers from unexpected health-care costs is making its way through the New Jersey Legislature.

The legislation would require doctors to inform patients about the estimated costs of non-emergency medical procedures before performing them.

Assemblyman Gary Schaer says that would help avoid unexpected expenses not covered by an insurance plan.

“We’ve gone to hospitals, made sure that our doctor was in network, the hospital was in network, only to discover that the anesthesiologist or the radiologist or the pathologist that they were not in network and hence we were responsible for costs that we didn’t know about,” he said.

Schaer said making it clear which expenses are covered allows patients to select an in-network provider. He said that can hold down medical costs and make health care more affordable.

The bill, which has been approved by the Assembly Insurance Committee, is still awaiting action in the state Senate.

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