Hello – I’m Representative Jonathan Brostoff, welcome to my latest edition of What’s up Wednesday. Today I’m going to talk to you about eight bills that I am co-sponsoring that make up the Health Insurance Fairness and Affordability Package, which was put together by Representative Jimmy Anderson. These bills are intended to make health insurance coverage more consumer-friendly, lower medical costs, and improve patient experiences while navigating the healthcare system. Insurance and medical billing can often be confusing and misleading. Medical jargon and inaccessible bureaucracy make it difficult for patients to know how much they owe for services and whether or not their bill has been accurately and appropriately itemized. This package requires hospitals and clinics to provide a clear, plain-language bill with an itemized explanation of all charges.
It also requires that patients be provided with notification of unpaid bills before their debts can be transferred to a collection agency. With this package, we are not only ensuring fair billing practices, but also working to drive down costs, keep healthcare affordable, and improve accessibility. We have included protections for uninsured individuals seeking emergency care services by limiting rates to 115% of the cost negotiated by Medicaid. No one should have to worry about drowning in debt when they are seeking emergency medical services. Some of the other protections the package includes are eliminating out-of-network charges for procedures associated with covered treatments, regulating rate increases by insurance companies, and requiring that insurers keep accessible, up-to-date databases of their providers so that patients can be sure to choose doctor’s that are covered in their plan.
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