This week, consumer and patient advocates re-launched their effort to prevent Californians from facing surprise out-of-network medical bills. Due to the failure of the legislature to act last year, California consumers continue to receive surprise medical bills from out-of-network providers after using in-network medical facilities. These bills could come from an out-of-network anesthesiologist, pathologist, radiologist or another health professional that the patient may have never met and did not choose, costing them hundreds or thousands of dollars.
Typically, consumers are unaware if they encountered an out-of-network provider until they receive the surprise bill, which can be hundreds or thousands of dollars and cause financial hardship for consumers. Further, these bills do not count toward the annual in-network cost-sharing cap of $6,600.
Health Access California is pleased to have the support of the California Labor Federation, now a co-sponsor, as well as Consumers Union and other groups representing patients, insurers, employers, and working families to pass this measure this year.
On Monday, Health Access hosted a media teleconference, along with Consumers Union and the California Labor Federation and two consumers who have been affected by surprise medical bills. Sarah Ross from Bayside, CA, shared her story on behalf of Health Access California.
- 3/21, Sacramento Bee: AM Alert: Surprise billing legislation awakens from coma
- 3/21, California HealthLine: Battle Heating Up Over ‘Surprise’ Medical Bills
- 3/21, State of Reform: Consumer, labor, business, and health groups re-launch campaign to stop surprise billings
- 3/22, Southern California Public Radio: CA lawmaker to try again to block ‘surprise’ medical bills
- 3/22, KQED Public Media For Northern CA : Renewed Battle To Pass ‘Surprise’ Medical Bills Legislation
- 3/22, 600 KOGO: CA Lawmakers Are Being Pressured to Stop Surprise Medical Bills
- 3/22, Health Affairs Blog: President Obama’s Budget Takes State-Level Debates Over Surprise Out-Of-Network Bills To National Policymakers
- 3/22, California Labor Federation, Labor’s Edge Blog: We’re standing together to put an end to surprise medical bills
- 3/23, Consumers Union: Consumer advocates relaunch efforts to end surprise bills in California
- 3/24, KSRO (radio interview): Limiting Surprise Bills in the Golden State
- 3/25, LA Times: Surprise! You’re covered for the hospital, not the doctors
- 3/28, Sacramento Bee, Daniel Weintraub: California should stop sticker shock on hospital bills
AB 533 Resources
- Fact Sheet
- Sample letter of support
- Bill language and status
- Stories of consumers hit by surprise bills
- Health Access 2015 Legislative Scorecard