Sen. George Barker and Del. Mark Sickles have teamed up to introduce legislation that seems to be good for consumers. SB 767 and HB 901 tackle the very annoying practice of “surprise” or “balance” billing. This is what happens when you go into surgery, planned or emergency, and your hospital and doctor are in your insurance network, but the anesthesiologist is not. So, when you get your bill, there is a great big charge for the anesthesiologist.
As the legislators explain in an op-ed in today’s RTD, under the terms of the legislation “the out-of-network providers would be fairly compensated at a rate established at the lower of the median amount that in-network providers would receive, or 125% of what Medicare would reimburse for that service.” I think the patient would still be liable for any co-pays or deductibles.
I have read the bill and it seems favorable to us regular consumers of health care, but my eyes and brain have always tended to glaze over when confronted with legislation dealing with insurance. If anyone out there checks it out and finds that there is some catch in it that makes it not so favorable, please let us know.
— Dick Hall-Sizemore