Archive | Balance Billing

Year of 2016 in Review: When We Work, We Win

The Presidential election will be what 2016 is remembered for–and for good reason, given how massively consequential it will be, on countless issues and even our national identity. Health Access California has been actively organizing for the #Fight4OurHealth in California to be ready for the renewed national debate in 2017 on health policy and health care. […]

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Governor Brown To Decide This Month on Strongest-In-Nation Patient Protections Against Surprise Medical Bills

These unexpected medical bills are a shock to family finances at an already stressful time. This long-standing injustice in our health system is even more intolerable as these bills could financially destabilize many of the lower-income families who are newly insured under the ACA. California health consumers can’t wait any longer for this important protection.

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Senate Health Committee to Vote on Legislation to Stop Surprise Medical Bills

By Tam Ma, Policy Counsel, Health Access California AB 72 (Bonta, Bonilla, Dahle, Gonzalez, Maienschein, Santiago, Wood) is being heard in the Senate Health Committee Wednesday, June 29, 2016. Patients know they have to follow their health plan or insurer’s rules and go to in-network providers and facilities to keep their out-of-pocket costs low. Unfortunately, […]

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Key Patient Rights Legislation Up Next Week

  Yesterday, the Assembly Health Committee passed one consumer protection measure, SB 923 (Hernandez) on a vote of 17-0, to prevent mid-year increases in co-payments and other cost-sharing by a health plan. Other key legislation also authored by Senate Health Committee Chair Dr. Ed Hernandez and sponsored by Health Access California to protect patients from unfair […]

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Labor and Consumer Groups Join Forces to Stop Surprise Medical Bills

This week, consumer and patient advocates re-launched their effort to prevent Californians from facing surprise out-of-network medical bills. Due to the failure of the legislature to act last year, California consumers continue to receive surprise medical bills from out-of-network providers after using in-network medical facilities. These bills could come from an out-of-network anesthesiologist, pathologist, radiologist […]

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Prescription Costs Transparency Bill Fails in Assembly Health Committee, But Fight Continues

Earlier today the California Assembly Health Committee failed to pass AB 463 (Chiu), a bill introduced last session that would have required greater transparency around the pricing of high-cost medications. Bill author David Chiu pulled the bill because he did not have enough votes, like last year, to get it through committee.  But, as he […]

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Key Patient Protections Pass Legislature, Now On Governor’s Desk

With the California Legislature adjourning after midnight last Saturday, most of the action on priority bills for health consumers moves to the Governor’s desk. Most of the Heath Access-sponsored bills protecting consumers from unfair out-of-pocket costs are now one Governor’s signature away from enactment. There were disappointments in the final days of this year’s legislative […]

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End of Session Recap: Legislation to Stop Surprise Medical Bills Stalls in California Assembly; Other Key Patient Protection Measures Advance to Governor’s Desk

The California Assembly adjourned Saturday morning without passing legislation to prevent patients from facing surprise out-of-network bills after they get care in in-networks hospitals or other facilities. AB533 (Bonta), sponsored by Health Access California, would have held consumers harmless for surprise bills reflecting out-of-network charges that were outside of their control (See separate AB533 fact sheet). A broad coalition […]

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Most Patient Protection Bills Clear Final Hurdle, En Route to Governor’s Desk; Tobacco Measures Still Pending

Earlier today the California Senate voted 25-10, on a bipartisan basis, to pass legislation to prevent patients from facing surprise out-of-network medical bills after they receive care in in-network hospitals or other facilities. Sponsored by Health Access California, AB533 (Bonta) would protect patients from “surprise” bills from out-of-network doctors when they did the right thing by going to […]

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