Australians can now reference a new guide to become more savvy about medical fees, so they won't be stung with surprising costs.
Questions that patients can ask doctors - to get a clear idea about what they will be charged for treatments or surgeries - are part of the guide, created by the Australian Medical Association.
It also includes an "informed consent" form that doctors and patients can complete together, along with advice on fees and medical gaps.
AMA president Tony Bartone said Australians are often left feeling miffed with health insurers, not because they have had to pay out-of-pocket costs but because they came as a shock.
"Most consumers understand that they may need to contribute to the cost of their care," Dr Bartone told reporters in Canberra on Tuesday.
But they do not know how to work out what these costs are.
"Complex care can be challenging, it can be daunting. Understanding the cost of your care should be neither of these."
The guide takes into account that medical services often involve various specialists with separate fees, Dr Bartone said.
Health Minister Greg Hunt argued that that's crucial, drawing on his own experience of having a tooth extracted on Friday to demonstrate how things should be done.
"Lower jaw, right hand side, second molar from the end - I'll miss it," he told reporters of the lost tooth.
"They went through with me, just as an ordinary patient, what I could see was the normal practice for the oral surgeon - the surgeon's costs, the hospital costs and the anaesthetists costs.
"That was the particular procedure for that practice and I think they got it absolutely right, and that's the procedure which has been modelled here."
The guide comes as the federal government is developing a website that will lay bare how much specialists charge, in an effort to stamp out very large or surprising out-of-pocket fees.
Gynaecology, obstetrics, and cancer services specialists will be the first to have their fees made public, likely by the end of the year.
The fee transparency website has copped some flack from some medical professionals, who are concerned it won't provide a full picture of what patients are being charged when health insurance and Medicare rebates are taken into account.
But Mr Hunt, who met with an advisory group about the website on Friday, insisted the majority of specialists were on board.
"So I do expect doctors to participate and overwhelmingly we've had a very positive response," he said.
Australian Associated Press