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Hospital Prices Are Unpredictable. One Type of Health Coverage Often Gets the Worst Rates. - The Wall Street Journal

Newly public data show that hospital prices vary in unpredictable ways that seem out of patients’ control. A Wall Street Journal analysis has identified a kind of health coverage that leaves patients with especially high bills.

Hospitals’ highest rates often aren’t for a specific insurance plan, but rather a type of healthcare provider network that is rented out to other companies. In the complex puzzle of healthcare, rental networks are sometimes used to underpin plans that are barely insurance at all, with limited benefits and capped payouts for care, usually at lower premiums than standard insurance plans.