Congratulations to New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine, who just signed a law to prevent hospitals overcharging the uninsured. Previously in 2006, both California and New York passed comprehensive legislation to prohibit hospitals from overcharging those who don’t have an insurer or government program to negotiate for them, and as a result, get charged more 3-4 times or more of what insurance companies or public program pay for the exact same service.
The New Jersey bill, described by ace health reporter Lindy Washburn of the Bergen Record, would limit charges to 15% above Medicare rates.
More information about the California law–AB774 (Chan)–is on the Health Access website. We continue to be active in making sure the law is enforced, that patients know about their rights, and to work in the policy arena against overcharging and medical debt. (Watch for more announcements this fall.) It’s good to see New Jersey and other states looking at this issue, so that the consumer protections can be more widespread.