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Insurance Consumer Advocate

Sha'Ron James


Contact Us
Mailing: 200 East Gaines St.
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0308

For Consumer Assistance:
Contact the Division of
Consumer Services within the
Department of Financial Services

Online at
Consumer Services
Toll-free in Florida
1-877-MY-FL-CFO
(1-877-693-5236)
Out of State
(850) 413-3089
Español
(850) 413-3033

Public Records Requests



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Balance Billing

An issue affecting Floridians is unexpected charges related to medical services provided by non-network providers, known in the industry as "balance billing." This issue impacts medical providers, insurers, and others; however, it is often the consumer who is left financially burdened by this form of unexpected healthcare cost.

2016 Legislation

HB 221

House Bill 221: Out-of-Network Health Insurance Coverage
Sponsor: Carlos Trujillo (R)
Co-Sponsor: Richard Stark (D)
Status: 04/14/2016 - Signed by the Governor

house committees
favorable
Bill
    Original Filed Version
Insurance & Banking Subcommittee
Yes
Appropriations Committees
Yes
Committee Substitute 2
Health & Human Services Committee Yes Committee Substitute 3
    Engrossed 1
    Engrossed 2/Enrolled

 

SB 1442

Senate Bill 1442: Out-of-network Health Insurance Coverage
Sponsor: Rene Garcia (R)
Status: 03/03/2016 - Laid on Table, refer to House Bill 221

Senate committees
favorable
Bill
    Original Filed Version
Health Policy
Yes
Committee Substitute 1
Banking and Insurance
Yes
Committee Substitute 2
Appropriations Yes Committee Substitute 3

 

 

ICA Forums and Testimony


News Articles and Press Releases

2017
DATE TITLE SOURCE
07/27/2017 Balance Billing: What You Need to Know Triage Cancer Blog
07/24/2017 The Company Behind Many Surprise Emergency Room Bills Julie Creswell, Reed Abelson, & Margot Sanger-Katz - The New York Times
06/21/2017 Balance Billing Hits Patients with Surprise Healthcare Costs Health Payer Intelligence
06/21/2017 Majority of states lack laws to protect patients from balance billing Ayla Ellison - Becker's Hospital Review
06/13/2017 Balance Billing by Health Care Providers: Assessing Consumer Protections Across States Kevin Lucia, Jack Hoadly, Ashley Williams - The Commonwealth Fund
05/31/2017 Bill To Help Texas Consumers With Unexpected Medical Bills Signed Into Law Lauren Silverman - Texas Public Radio
03/10/2017 Saturday Lead Letter: Patients need protection from surprise hospital bills Mark Ryan - The Florida Times-Union
02/17/2017 BuyER Beware: Patients fight surprise medical bills David Hammer - WWL TV
02/15/2017 Arizona lawmakers propose relief for consumers from unexpected medical bills Ken Alltucker - AZ Central
02/15/2017 Insurance Commissioner Tackles Surprise Balance Billing for Consumers Chris Gray - The Lund Report
01/30/2017 Doing More than Worrying about Surprise Medical Bills Lilo H. Stainton - NJ Spotlight
01/27/2017 20 things to know about balance billing | 2017 Brooke Murphy - Beckers Hospital Review
2016
DATE TITLE SOURCE
12/13/2016 FCEP calls emergent care balance billing 'rare' in response to FTC inquiry request Brooke Murphy - Beckers Hospital Review
12/12/2016 Florida Data Suggest Balance Billing is Rare in Emergency Medicine American College of Emergency Physicians - PR Newswire
12/08/2016 Surprise Medical Bills Letter to Senator Nelson Insurance Consumer Advocate's Office
12/08/2016 "Surprise" hospital bills hurting Tampa Bay families Adam Winer - WPTV
12/05/2016 Making The Case For States To Reduce Out-Of-Network Charges David Newman & Eric Barrette - Health Affairs
12/03/2016 Senator Calls for Inquiry Into ‘Surprise’ Medical Bills Margot Sanger-Katz & Reed Abelson - New York Times
12/03/2016 Out-of-network ER doctors may charge you big bucks Trudy Lieberman - Adams County Record (North Dakota)
11/23/2016 Surprise medical bills: How you can fight back CBS News
11/16/2016 Patients May Still Get a ‘Surprise’ Bill After an In-Network ER Visit, Study Finds Melinda Beck - The Wall Street Journal
11/16/2016 Surprise doctor bills from ER care can add angst to injury Tom Murphy - Miami Herald
11/16/2016 Many get hit with surprise 'out-of-network' bill after emergency rooms: Study Dan Mangan - CNBC
10/20/2016 Healthcare Litigation Andrew H. Struve, Jessica J. Slusser & John M. LeBlanc - Manatt
08/10/2016 When the Hospital Is Covered but the Health Care Isn’t Helaine Olen - Slate
07/18/2016 Client Alert: Florida: What the New Balance Billing Law Means for Physicians Erin Smith Aebel - JDSupra Business Advisor
07/08/2016 Surprise Medical Bills Fuel Fight Between Providers, Insurers Melinda Beck - The Wall Street Journal
07/06/2016 Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater's Dollars & Sense CFO Atwater's Press Office
06/27/2016 New state law will prevent unprecedented ER bills WFTV9 Orlando
06/23/2016 Surprise medical bills need to stop East Bay Times Editorial
06/13/2016 Unexpected bills: Ambulance services not in insurance networks Maggie Clark - Herald-Tribune
06/10/2016 New Florida Law Protects Patients from Surprise Out-of-Network Bills Marcus Rech - Heartlander Magazine
06/05/2016 Restarting N.J. hospital billing debate Lindy Washburn - North Jersey News
05/24/2016 Family stung by surprise medical bills KWWL ABC-7
05/13/2016 Hefty Surprise Medical Bills Can Be a Burden for Families Olivia Sterns and Michael Cappetta - NBC News
05/11/2016 30 things to know about balance billing Brooke Murphy and Kelly Gooch - Becker's Hospital CFO
04/28/2016 After New York, Florida Curbs Surprise Bills for Emergency and Out-of-Network Services Nili S. Yolin - Lexology
04/27/2016 Court Revives Class Allegations in Billing Practices Suit Mary Anne Pazanowski - Bloomberg BNA
04/26/2016 Florida makes strides in health-care reform Bill Herrle - Orlando Sentinel
04/25/2016 How Health-Care Costs Can Impact Your Paycheck Tom Hudson - WLRN Miami
04/21/2016 Some Florida ER Doctors Wary Of New State Health Laws Ryan Benk - WMFE
04/20/2016 Emergency Room Doctors Say Florida's New Legislation 'Flawed' Ryan Benk - WJCT
04/19/2016 Florida Governor Signs Legislation Aimed at Curbing Unexpected Medical Bills ACA International
04/17/2016 Gov. Scott signs key health bills Jim Saunders - News Service of Florida
04/15/2016 Surprise medical bill protection signed into law Ron Hurtibise - Sun Sentinel
04/15/2016 Hospital Price Transparency, Anti-Balance Billing Bills Become Law Lynn Hatter - WFSU
04/14/2016 Scott Signs Key Health Bills, Vetoes Dental Measure Jim Saunders - News Service of Florida
04/14/2016 Florida governor signs law shielding patients from surprise medical bills Harris Meyer - Modern Healthcare
04/14/2016 Scott signs surprise medical bill ban, advocate thanks Post readers Charles Elmore - Palm Beach Post
04/14/2016 Florida Implements Law Protecting Consumers From Surprise Medical Bills Ashlee Kieler - Consumerist
04/14/2016 Governor Rick Scott Signs Legislation to Protect Patients from Price-Gouging at Florida Hospitals Governor Scott's Press Office
04/14/2016 CFO Jeff Atwater Applauds Governor Scott for Signing Legislation that Ends Surprise Medical Bills CFO Atwater's Press Office
04/13/2016 Don’t Be a Victim of Balanced Billing Nurse Katz - Huffpost Healthy Living
04/11/2016 Scott Poised To Act On Health, Education Bills Jim Saunders - The News Service of Florida
04/10/2016 Sticker shock: Health insurance no guarantee of lower bills for some patients Ken Alltucker - The Arizona Republic
04/08/2016 Florida and California move to shield consumers from surprise medical bills Harris Meyer - Modern Healthcare
04/04/2016 Federal, state efforts to end balance billing: 4 things to know Kelly Gooch - Becker's Hospital CFO
04/03/2016 States Work to Limit Out-of-Network Medical Bills Donna Rosato - Consumer Reports
03/31/2016 Health Bills, Tax Cuts, 'Legacy Florida' Go To Scott News Service of Florida
03/25/2016 Patient protection bill good legislation Editorial - Cape Coral Daily Breeze
03/22/2016 President Obama’s Budget Takes State-Level Debates Over Surprise Out-of-Network Bills To National Policymakers Sandy Ahn, Jack Hoadley, and Sabrina Corlette - Health Affairs
03/21/2016 Surprise Medical Bills? The Florida Legislature Offers Some Relief! Bruce Platt - JDSupra
03/18/2016 Proposal to ban surprise medical bills reaches Florida governor's desk Daniel Chang - Miami Herald
03/18/2016 Why 'surprise medical bills' are an important statehouse story Trudy Lieberman - Columbia Journalism Review
03/18/2016 Surprise medical bills: Fla. seen as U.S. model as consumers speak out Charles Elmore - Palm Beach Post
03/12/2016 Florida Insurance Consumer Advocate Champions Passage of Balance Billing Legislation East Lake Blister
03/11/2016 CFO Atwater Celebrates 2016 Legislative Successes CFO Atwater's Press Office
03/11/2016 CFO Jeff Atwater Applauds the Passage of Legislation that Protects CFO Atwater's Press Office
03/11/2016 Florida Insurance Consumer Advocate Champions Passage of Balance Billign Legislation CFO Atwater's Press Office
03/11/2016 Prescribing, Insurance Changes Get Last-Minute Approval CBS Miami
03/11/2016 Insurance company must fairly reimburse emergency physicians Tallahassee Democrat
03/11/2016 Jeff Atwater Praises Legislature for Curbing "Balance Billing" Drew Wilson - Florida Politics
03/11/2016 Surprise medical bills ban passes Florida Legislature on last day Charles Elmore - Palm Beach Post
03/08/2016 Bill Takes Aim at Surprise Hospital Bills in Florida Tony Pipitone - NBC6 Maimi
03/04/2016 Surprise medical bills: Senate fight holds bill's fate Charles Elmore - Palm Beach Post
03/02/2016 Surprise medical bills: Senate fight holds bill's fate Charles Elmore - Palm Beach Post
03/02/2016 House Sends Several Healthcare Bills to Senate Lynn Hatter - WFSU
03/02/2016 Direct Primary Care, Balance Billing Get House Support Daylina Miller - Health News Florida
03/01/2016 Surprise medical bills: Fla. House bill advances to final vote Charles Elmore - Palm Beach Post
02/29/2016 Surprise medical bills: Consumers 'need help' from lawmakers now Charles Elmore - Palm Beach Post
02/26/2016 Legislature working to stop insurance company practice of 'balance billing' Andrew Bern - Sun Sentinel
02/26/2016 Balance Billing Crackdown Heading Toward Final Votes Lynn Hatter - WFSU
02/25/2016 Surprise medical bills ban survives tense fight Charles Elmore - Palm Beach Post
02/24/2016 Surprise Health Care Bill Protections Addressed in President Obama's 2017 Budget for Health and Human Services Basil H. Kim and Jackie Selby -The National Law Review
02/24/2016 Bid to end 'surprise billing' by health care providers hits home stretch Ron Hurtibise - Sun-Sentinel
02/18/2016 Negron promises to push balance billing amendment Christine Sexton - POLITICO Florida
02/17/2016 20 things to know about balance billing Brooke Murphy - Becker's Hospital CFO
02/17/2016 Capitol Reax: Balanced Billing Florida Politics
02/17/2016 Surprise bills ban heads to FL House floor, advocate 'thrilled' Charles Elmore - Palm Beach Post
02/17/2016 Surprise medical bills: More than emergency care at issue, groups say Charles Elmore - Palm Beach Post
02/16/2016 Senate Committee Green Lights Legislation to End Balance Billing Allison Nielsen - Sunshine State News
02/16/2016 Balance Billing Measure Clears 2nd Senate Panel Jim Rosica - Florida Politics
02/12/2016 Advocacy in Action: End Surprise Medical Bills Insurance Consumer Advocate's Office
02/12/2016 A new proposed law could mean big changes for surprise hospital bills WFTV 9
02/11/2016 Consumers frustrated with surprise medical bills Joe Ducey; Courtney Holmes - ABC 15
02/11/2016 Proposal to Ban Balance Billing Continues to Weave Through Legislature Allison Nielson - Sunshine State News
02/04/2016 Advocacy in Action: End Surprise Medical Bills Insurance Consumer Advocate's Office
01/20/2016 Commission, Senate Committee Push Transparency Forward Carol Gentry - WUSF News
01/19/2016 Florida Health Group to House Committee: Pass Balance Billing Legislation Allison Nielsen - Sunshine State News
01/19/2016 Balance Billing Measure Moves Ahead Despite Reservations Ryan Ray - Florida Politics
01/19/2016 Advocate welcomes 'great start' for ban on surprise bills, doctors wary Charles Elmore - Palm Beach Post
01/14/2016 Florida Hospital Association Rolls Out Transparency Website Lynn Hatter - WFSU
01/08/2016 Balance Billing Proposal Gets Senate Sponsor Carol Gentry - Health News Florida
2015
DATE TITLE SOURCE
12/17/2015 Balance Billing Solution Proposed Carol Gentry - Health News Florida
12/17/2015 Insurance consumer advocate proposes arbitration for billing disputes Christine Sexton - Politico Pro
12/17/2015 Ban 'balance billing' in emergencies, state advocate says Charles Elmore - Palm Beach Post