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Healthzette: The Health Savings We’re Missing - Cost transparency tools exist ... yet we're not using them

 By: Kristen Fischer 

We have the tools to shop around and save on health care costs — but we aren't using them. A new Harvard Medical School study reveals that consumer access to price transparency tools doesn't make them any more popular or likely to decrease health care spending.

Do we not want to save money, especially in a health care climate in which out-of-pocket costs are soaring? Or are we just lazy?

Out-of-pocket spending for adults with employer-sponsored insurance rose from $662 per capita in 2012 to $707 in 2013 — that's 6.9 percent. That's according to the Health Care Cost Institute. And a Kaiser Family Foundation report found that out-pocket-costs grew by 77 percent from 2004 to 2014.

Not only are deductibles higher for many Americans, but from 2004 to 2014 the average payments enrollees put toward deductibles went up 256 percent — from $99 to $353. Coinsurance payments went up 107 percent from $117 to $242, while co-payments decreased 26 percent from $206 to $152, Kaiser said.

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