The cost of health care has gone up tremendously in the past two decades. Doctors and hospitals have higher over head costs. Hospitals do not have wards are longer,or even semi-private rooms. There are color TV sets in each room. New medications that cure many ills or reveal problems, like CAT Scans and MRIs did not exist that long ago.
Nurses are making more money--and they earn it--especially in hospitals. Medications are more expensive, because they work better and treat more ailments.
You do see your hospital bill. Insurance companies send out EOBs--Explanation of Benefits--that shows what the doctor or facility charged, the negotiated price or the part that is covered, the deductible and finally the amount you may owe.
It is a bureaucratic maze. All docotors' offices are not as cooperative as others. I had a procedure done last year that cost $1400 and the insurance, a PPO, agreed to pay $300. I needed the procedure again. I talked to the business office and explained I had new insurance and found out they did not accept it. I think ask if we could negotiate a price, since i had been a patient for 12 years. The doctor had raised his fee to $2,400, apparnetly hoping to get more from insurance companies. I said I could not afford that and offered to pay $1,000 and work out a payment plan for the rest. They said so. I found a new doctor, whose office is working with me.
Sometimes you have to shop around. That is not always possible in an emergency situation, but if you have some time, talk to the business office, get an estimate, see if your insurance is one of their preferred companies and get some hard numbers.