BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) — A new study has found that prices Montana hospitals charge for patients with private health insurance can be double what the federal government sets as fair.

The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reported Saturday that the Rand Corporation says private insurance companies paid twice what Medicare paid for the same services from 2015 through 2017.

The report says Montana hospitals set prices for private insurers 277% beyond Medicare, which equals $27 million more than what the federal government paid.

Montana hospitals in the study had the nation’s fifth highest imbalance between private insurance and Medicare.

The global think tank’s study released earlier this summer included 25 states and 1,600 hospitals.

The study looked at employer-sponsored insurance plans that are the result of negotiations between insurance companies and health care providers.

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Information from: Bozeman Daily Chronicle, http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com