Update on Federal Surprise Billing Legislation: New Bills Contain Key Differences

Congressional leaders are racing to meet a self-imposed May deadline for passing legislation to protect consumers from surprise medical billing. In their latest post for the Commonwealth Fund’s To the Point blog, Jack Hoadley, Beth Fuchs, and Kevin Lucia identify key similarities and differences among competing proposals, and provide a comprehensive side-by-side guide to the key committee bills. Continue reading

The Texas Two-Step: Implementation of State Balance Billing Law Reveals Gaps in Consumer Protections

In Congress and state legislatures across the country, policymakers are debating fixes to surprise medical bills. The federal government has yet to enact comprehensive reforms, but a number of states have taken steps to protect consumers. One such state is Texas, which last year enacted a new law holding consumers harmless in situations that commonly lead to surprise medical bills. However, the state’s new protections were almost gutted due to an implementation loophole, a cautionary tale for federal and state policymakers. CHIR’s Rachel Schwab takes a look at what happened in Texas. Continue reading

New Resource for Consumer Advocates on Out-of-Network Payment Disputes in Balance Billing Legislation

State lawmakers across the country are are gearing up for a new legislative session. Many will be considering state-level protections for consumers to prevent surprise out-of-network medical bills. Just as with the federal legislation, however, one of the key sticking points for state policymakers will be how to approach out-of-network provider reimbursement. To aid stakeholders in these efforts, Community Catalyst teamed up with CHIR experts to create a guide for its health insurance reform toolkit: The Advocate’s Guide to Addressing Out-Of-Network Payment in Surprise Balance Billing Legislation. Continue reading

Disputes over Dispute Resolution: Analyses of New York & California-style Surprise Billing Protections Offer Divergent Pictures

The U.S. Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has a new analysis of legislation that would protect patients from surprise medical bills and help settle physician-insurer payment disputes through an arbitration process. CHIR’s Sabrina Corlette takes a look at their projections and three recent assessments of the effect of balance billing laws in New York and California Continue reading

CHIR Launches New Resource Center for Policymakers on Surprise Medical Bills

CHIR experts have launched a new project to provide policymakers with a dedicated, independent resource for unbiased and comprehensive information on the issue of surprise medical bills. Leveraging our experience advising state insurance regulators and monitoring surprise medical bill legislation in all 50 states and before Congress, our goal is to help policymakers protect consumers, promote affordability, and adopt comprehensive surprise medical bill protections. Continue reading

States Leaning In: Colorado

This year several states have taken an increasingly active role in expanding health insurance coverage, overseeing their insurance markets, and protecting consumers. Perhaps no state did more in 2019 than Colorado, which enacted a dizzying array of health insurance bills. CHIR’s Rachel Schwab takes a look in this installment of States Leaning In. Continue reading