Yet another factor that could put a crimp in your wallet when it comes to health care: The cost of procedures such as colonoscopies, mammograms, and Pap smears vary wildly across the nation, according to a new report picked up by USA Today. Researchers found that colonoscopies, for instance, could total anywhere between $786 and $1,819, depending on such factors as where you live and whether you have it done in a hospital or a doctor's office.
"I wasn't surprised that there was variability, but the degree of variability surprised me," says the president of Change Healthcare, which did the study. It's something for consumers to keep in mind, notes the story: These kinds of preventative procedures are likely to become more common under the federal health care law, because insurers are required to cover them as part of wellness exams. People might save on co-pays, but they need to make sure that pricey tests don't drive up their premiums.