Balance Billing

Legislation Protecting Patients From Surprise Emergency Room Bills Passes CA State Assembly

The California State Assembly passed AB 1611 by Assemblymember David Chiu and Senator Scott Wiener to end surprise emergency room bills on a 48-9 vote. AB 1611 is a key patient protection that would also lower the costs of health care for California consumers. The bill faced opposition from industry lobbyists who argued that the status quo […] Read More

Legislation Protecting Patients From Surprise Emergency Room Bills Passes Assembly Health Committee

The California State Assembly Health Committee yesterday passed AB 1611 by Assemblymember David Chiu and Senator Scott Wiener to end surprise emergency room bills on a 11-0 vote. After an emergency room visit, some California patients still receive a “balance bill” which is the difference between what the hospital charged for the service and what the […] Read More

Momentum on a Statewide Solution to End Surprise Emergency Room Bills

On Tuesday, April 16th  Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital announced a proposal to be considered by the San Francisco Health Commission to end the practice of “balance billing,” where insured patients get billed the remaining balance after insurer payment of an emergency room bill. This practice can leave patients with bills in the tens of […] Read More

Year of 2016 in Review: When We Work, We Win

The Presidential election will be what 2016 is remembered for–and for good reason, given how massively consequential it will be, on countless issues and even our national identity. Health Access California has been actively organizing for the #Fight4OurHealth in California to be ready for the renewed national debate in 2017 on health policy and health care. […] Read More

Governor Brown To Decide This Month on Strongest-In-Nation Patient Protections Against Surprise Medical Bills

These unexpected medical bills are a shock to family finances at an already stressful time. This long-standing injustice in our health system is even more intolerable as these bills could financially destabilize many of the lower-income families who are newly insured under the ACA. California health consumers can’t wait any longer for this important protection.

Senate Health Committee to Vote on Legislation to Stop Surprise Medical Bills

By Tam Ma, Policy Counsel, Health Access California AB 72 (Bonta, Bonilla, Dahle, Gonzalez, Maienschein, Santiago, Wood) is being heard in the Senate Health Committee Wednesday, June 29, 2016. Patients know they have to follow their health plan or insurer’s rules and go to in-network providers and facilities to keep their out-of-pocket costs low. Unfortunately, […] Read More

Key Patient Rights Legislation Up Next Week

  Yesterday, the Assembly Health Committee passed one consumer protection measure, SB 923 (Hernandez) on a vote of 17-0, to prevent mid-year increases in co-payments and other cost-sharing by a health plan. Other key legislation also authored by Senate Health Committee Chair Dr. Ed Hernandez and sponsored by Health Access California to protect patients from unfair […] Read More

Labor and Consumer Groups Join Forces to Stop Surprise Medical Bills

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 […] Read More