A new law that went into effect at the beginning of the year that is trying to bring some transparency to charges incurred during a hospital stay.

If you're planning on having a baby, a knee replacement surgery, colonoscopy or some other kind of medical procedure you will now have a better idea on how much you could be spending on your hospital stay. Getting sick or being admitted into the hospital can be expensive, even if you have insurance. Knowing what that stay could end up costing you is important.

With a new law that went into effect January 1st, healthcare systems and hospitals now post transparent prices on what it costs to have a procedure or some kind of major test done.

You know what it costs when going to that fast food joint, home improvement store, nail salon and everywhere else, so why not be able to know how much that gal bladder surgery or heart procedure is going to cost you. KLTV 7 recently spoke with officials at UT Health East Texas and CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances in regards to the transparent pricing policy.

When it comes to hospital expenses there are a number of other factors that affect the total charge, like surgeons, radiologists and other specialists that bill differently from the hospital (many times separately).

At least now you'll have some kind of idea on how much that surgery is going to set you back. But just like buying a car, these prices are usually suggested and in many cases the hospital will work with you on lowering those prices, especially if you're paying cash. So the online price isn't always the final price, but it at least gives you a starting point and maybe you can shop around a bit and save even more.