January 19, 2016
Sunshine State News
A group representing Florida's health plans is putting its support behind a bill to reform balance billing in Florida.The Florida Association of Health Plans, Inc. (FAHP) urging members of the House Insurance & Banking Subcommittee to pass House Bill 221, sponsored by Representative Carlos Trujillo (R-Miami), which would reform the current system of balance billing.
“The current system of balance billing threatens Florida’s consumers by putting them on the hook for the retail cost of health care services. Many times, these costs arise from an emergency situation when, through no choice of their own, they are treated by an out-of-network health care provider," said FAHP President & CEO Audrey Brown. "Even in instances when a policyholder is able to choose to go to an in-network hospital and even an in-network surgeon, they may also be seen by an out-of-network anesthesiologist, leaving them subject to a balance bill for the cost of the anesthesia services, which can amount to a financially debilitating bill.
“Fortunately, Representative Trujillo’s HB 221 would shield consumers from the practice of surprise balance billing by prohibiting health care providers from billing a consumer for the balance of the retail charges above what the insurance company has already paid in situations when a consumer has no ability to choose an in-network provider.
“We urge members of the House Insurance & Banking Subcommittee to advance this good bill today, as we must change the current system in order to stop bankrupting Florida families with insurmountable medical bills.”