Survey: One in Four Californians Received Surprise Medical Bill
Over the last two years, nearly 25% of Californians with private insurance received a surprise medical bill, in which their insurer paid less than they expected, according to a survey commissioned by the Consumer Reports National Research Center, KQED's "State of Health" reports (Aliferis, "State of Health," KQED, 5/7).
Details of Survey
For the survey, GfK Group polled 2,202 privately insured U.S. residents between March 5 and March 16 (Consumers Union release, May 2015). There were 825 respondents from California.
Nationally, 30% of U.S. residents reported receiving surprise medical bills ("State of Health," KQED, 5/7).
In California, 23% of respondents said they had received a surprise bill in the last two years.
Among California respondents who had received surprise bills:
- 67% said their bills were higher than expected;
- 22% said they were billed by a physician from whom they did not expect to receive a bill;
- 18% said they were charged out-of-network rates by a provider they believed to be in their network; and
- 6% said they were charged for services they had not received (Consumer Reports survey, 5/5).
When asked how they dealt with surprise bills:
- 60% of California respondents said they attempted to resolve the issue;
- 51% said they thought taking action would not make a difference; and
- 40% said they took no action ("State of Health," KQED, 5/7).