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 or another health professional that the patient may have never met and did not choose, costing them hundreds or thousands of dollars.

Typically, consumers are unaware if they encountered an out-of-network provider until they receive the surprise bill, which can be hundreds or thousands of dollars and cause financial hardship for consumers. Further, these bills do not count toward the annual in-network cost-sharing cap of $6,600.

Health Access California is pleased to have the support of the California Labor Federation, now a co-sponsor, as well as Consumers Union and other groups representing patients, insurers, employers, and working families to pass this measure this year.

On Monday, Health Access hosted a media teleconference, along with Consumers Union and the California Labor Federation and two consumers who have been affected by surprise medical bills. Sarah Ross from Bayside, CA, shared her story on behalf of Health Access California.

Media Round-Up

Link to audio recording

AB 533 Resources

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