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CFO Jeff Atwater Applauds Governor Scott for Signing Legislation that Ends Surprise Medical Bills

4/15/2016

Contact: Ashley Carr
(850) 413 – 2842

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater today applauded Governor Rick Scott for signing a consumer-orientated piece of legislation that protects Floridians from balance billing. While consumers pay health insurance premiums each month to cover predicted medical bills, many are finding themselves with expensive and unforeseen bills as a result of receiving care from an out-of-network provider.

CFO Atwater said, “Today Governor Scott signed an incredibly consumer-friendly piece of legislation into law, establishing a balanced solution to the complex issue of medical billing. The legislature approached the problem by allowing all members of the health care community to voice their opinions this session, and this broad conversation was made possible through the efforts of Sha’Ron James, Florida’s Insurance Consumer Advocate.

‘Thank you to Senator Rene Garcia and Representative Carlos Trujillo for keeping consumers at the forefront of this complex conversation and for dedicating your efforts to helping make this day a reality.

‘This new law protects consumers by holding them harmless in times of both emergency situations when choosing a provider is not an option, and in non-emergency situations when communication may not be made clear regarding out-of-network providers who may be offering care. As a result, consumers are left with a more affordable bill comparable to what they would have paid if the provider had been in their network.

‘For the Florida families who have experienced the ramifications of balance billing, this new law will ensure that they will never again face the same troubling situation. To the families who have not experienced this situation, thankfully they will never have to.”

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).