March 1, 2016
Palm Beach Post
On an issue where Loxahatchee resident Joyce Trapp says consumers “need help,” a bill designed to protect families from “balance billing” by out-of-network medical providers moved to within one step of final passage in the Florida House Tuesday.
With little debate, the chamber adopted an amendment relating to resolving disputes between insurers and medical providers out of their networks on HB 221.
The Senate version could hear debate on amendments Wednesday. Consumer advocates have expressed optimism for the legislation’s chances in the session that ends March 11 , though one national group has warned of last-minute amendments that could “derail” it. Efforts to resolve the issue failed a year ago.
The legislation is designed to limit devastating consumer charges that can run into tens of thousands of dollars from out-of-network providers. Such charges would be limited to the equivalent of in-network co-pays and deductibles in situations including emergencies where patients have little choice about who treats them.