Testimony: Increasing Transparency & Cost-Savings in Health Care


Testimony in Support of LD 1085: “An Act to Increase Transparency of and Lower Health Care Costs”

Senator Bailey, Representative Perry, and the distinguished members of the Committee on Health Coverage, Insurance and Financial Services, my name is Nick Murray and I serve as director of policy for Maine Policy Institute. We are a free market think tank, a nonpartisan, non-profit organization that advocates for individual liberty and economic freedom in Maine. Thank you for the opportunity to testify on LD 1085.

In 2017, Maine Policy Institute worked hard to ensure passage of Maine’s Right-To-Shop law so that Mainers could better understand costs of medical procedures. LD 1085 would continue that important mission by allowing more Maine health insurance customers in small group plans access to price transparency tools and by putting in place more potent incentives for consumers to make use of cost-savings.

Including surgeries in the definition of “comparable health services” will provide clearer price information for patients across Maine seeking vital procedures that have historically varied widely between medical providers, especially non-emergency surgeries. 

We support expanding on the benefits of Maine’s Right-To-Shop law because it has helped to prevent surprisingly high medical bills for patients who did not know the costs of a procedure before agreeing to it. By bringing more consumers and insurers into the Right-To-Shop fold, the law can aid individuals in their search for quality care at the most affordable price possible. This bill is right to eliminate the law’s repeal date.

More transparency leads to more comprehensive consumer information, and greater satisfaction among patients. Not to mention that Right-to-Shop-style incentives for consumers have saved hospitals, self-insured small businesses, and patients from unnecessarily high costs in Maine, New Hampshire, and other states which recently enacted their own programs.

Please deem LD 1085 “Ought To Pass” to build on the success of Maine’s Right-To-Shop law and ensure the greatest amount of patient knowledge possible in regards to their health care decisions.  Thank you for your time and consideration.