March 11, 2016
CFO Jeff Atwater Applauds the Passage of Legislation that Protects
Consumers from Surprise Medical Bills
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater today applauded the Florida Legislature’s passage of legislation that puts an end to balance billing in most scenarios. Consumers across the state pay health insurance premiums each month to cover predicted medical costs and to mitigate those that are not. When consumers receive care from out-of-network providers, they are often hit with unexpected and costly medical bills.
CFO Atwater said, “The Florida Legislature was tasked with striking a finely-tuned and balanced solution to a multifaceted problem. While all sides of this health care community presented valid perspectives and strong opinions throughout the legislative process, I’m pleased that our legislative leaders kept consumers at the forefront of this conversation, ultimately removing them from this complex billing equation.
‘This solution holds consumers harmless in times of emergency and in non-emergency situations where consumers have little or no choice who their provider is, resulting in the consumer’s responsibility being comparable to what they would have paid had the provider been in their network. Additionally, consumers will receive more notice and transparency from both insurance companies and providers. This will help consumers navigate the complexities of health insurance billing. This legislation is a win for every Florida family—both those that have experienced balance billing in the past and those that thankfully will not have to.
‘I would be remiss not recognize Florida’s Insurance Consumer Advocate Sha’Ron James for her efforts in broadening the conversation, bringing all parties to the table and prescribing potential solutions. Sha’Ron’s is a leading voice for consumers.”
# # #
Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, a statewide elected official, oversees the Department of Financial Services. CFO Atwater’s priorities include fighting financial fraud, abuse and waste in government, reducing government spending and regulatory burdens that chase away businesses, and providing transparency and accountability in spending. Follow the activities of the Department on Facebook (FLDFS) and Twitter (@FLDFS).