WellPoint offers reference-based pricing for employee plans

Health insurer WellPoint next year will offer employers with at least 100 workers a new option that allows them to pay a set amount for a medical service, requiring employees who choose costlier care to pay the difference. WellPoint said its pilot projects have shown good results, but Cigna, which also is testing reference-based pricing plans, said its results have been mixed, suggesting employees may not be shopping for the best prices as the program intends.

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