San Francisco's KQED is one of several public radio stations trying to help people find the best prices for healthcare.

Shopping for health care is kind of like going to a grocery store where there aren’t any price tags. That jar of spaghetti sauce might cost $4, or maybe $50. But in health care you typically don’t find out prices until you get to the checkout counter. People with one kind of card pay one price, those with another pay a different one, and you may do better or worse if you offer cash.

Last year Montana lawmakers, frustrated by how hard it is to shop for the best deal in healthcare, set up a special committee to find solutions. That committee meets for the first time Wednesday.


The final tally for the number of Montanans who signed up for coverage under the Affordable Care Act by last Friday’s deadline are in, and they’re more than 90 percent of what they were last year.

"We’re happy with the numbers," says Olivia Riutta with the Montana Primary Care Association.

With the final deadline for getting a healthcare plan under the Affordable Care Act now just days away, the number of Montanans who’ve  signed up for insurance plans on is 2,000 people ahead of this time last year. 

This Friday, December 15, is the last day Montanans can sign up for coverage.

The deadline for getting a health plan under the Affordable Care Act is fast approaching.

Open enrollment under the health care law passed by the Obama administration started November 1.

According to the Montana Primary Care Association’s Olivia Riutta, there’s a strong local demand for enrollment assistance. 

Sen. Jon Tester.

Senate Republicans are pushing for a broad tax cut, contingent on the repeal of the law requiring Americans to buy insurance coverage. Montana Senator Jon Tester wants no part of it.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office says eliminating the individual mandate would leave millions uninsured.