More than half of Americans have received a surprise medical bill for treatment they expected to be covered by insurance. This typically occurs when a patient sees a provider that is out of their health plan’s network.
Out-of-network healthcare providers are not prohibited from engaging in a practice called balance billing, which consists of a provider charging a patient for whatever is left after the insurer has contributed their share. It’s a harmful practice that throws millions of Americans into financial crisis.
Patients are often able to choose in-network providers, but sometimes it might not be clear who’s in-network and who’s out-of-network. For example, a patient with asthma could be hit with a massive medical bill if he goes to the emergency room for a serious asthma attack and is treated by an out-of-network provider, or a patient with lung cancer could receive an enormous bill if she goes to an in-network hospital for lung cancer surgery but has an out-of-network anesthesiologist as part of her care team. In these situations, patients should not be penalized for seeking care.
By contacting your members of Congress today, you can help protect patients from surprise medical bills!
Now more than ever amidst a global pandemic patients could be forced to an out-of-network
provider if their in-network option is overcrowded or unavailable. As Congress works to pass multiple COVID-19 economic relief packages, now is the time to stop surprise medical billing and protect patients from financially crippling medical bills.
Please contact your members of Congress today.