In a May 14 CNBC article, Professor Robert Field commented on the move by Aetna, UnitedHealthCare and Humana to share health insurance plan price data with the Health Care Cost Institute so that health care customers can perform price-comparison shopping for plans.
Field said the price-comparison tool is "encouraging" and "a step in the right direction." "Price information is all the more important to more people than it might have been five or 10 years ago," Field added.
Field also commented that increased price transparency will improve competitiveness in the health care marketplace and, hopefully, drive down prices.
Separately, in a May 13 article found in the Congressional Quarterly (subscription required) regarding Blue Cross and Blue Shield's disclosure that it potentially enrolled 3.2 million individuals in plans that do not comply with the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Field commented that the number might be a bit inflated due to the timing of the enrollments.
Field said that some of the people in the 3.2 million figure might be included in that total because they enrolled in late March just before the cutoff date. Field added that, despite the number, it is premature to jump to conclusions that the ACA is not working properly. "What we're really looking at is the first two minutes of a football game," Field said. "There's a lot of play time left before we're going to know the full impact of the [ACA]," he concluded.
Professor Robert Field is a nationally recognized expert in health care regulation and its role in implementing public policy.