Health care pricing is opaque in Chicago and the suburbs. Patients are not aware that preventive screening colonoscopy prices vary by a factor of two to three in several areas. has published price data from Aetna, Humana, United Healthcare and Assurant Health. They have ranges for all medical procedures; however, they do not name the providers' names by price because of legal contracts they have with many hospitals or groups who charge more.

For example, they show that facility services for colonoscopy-preventive screening varies from $1,489 to $3,625 in Illinois and physician services prices vary from $298 to $477.

For Chicago, the total costs range from $1,821 to $4,046 compared to $1,787 to $4,102 for the state of Illinois.

Consumers will find three facilities in Geneva, located right across from each other where prices range from $1,700 to $4,500 for colonoscopy. Consumers are advised to shop around and compare the prices and qualifications of gastroenterologists. I am sure they can save a lot and control their future premiums or copays.

Jeanne Pinder of Clear Health Costs has found that to be true by examining thousands of bills submitted to Clear Health for several cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Dallas, New York City. Clear Health Costs is funded by several grants and charities. Jeanne Pinder was a well-known reporter for The New York Times covering health care.

Satinder Mullick

St. Charles