Latest California Healthline Stories
A bill one family considered paid wrongfully resurfaced, resurrecting painful memories. It’s a scenario that’s not uncommon but grievously unsettling.
Diagnosed with aggressive leukemia on a Western trip, a young man thought his insurance would cover an air ambulance ride home to North Carolina. Instead, questions about medical necessity left him with an astronomical bill.
The No Surprises Act offers protection from many surprise medical bills — but that protection may be only as good as a patient’s knowledge of the law and ability to make sure it’s enforced. Here’s what you need to know.
KHN gives readers a chance to comment on a recent batch of stories.
The Biden administration’s request for billions more in funding to fight covid-19 hit a snag on Capitol Hill this week, as Democrats objected to Republican demands that money allocated to states but not yet spent be reclaimed. Meanwhile, the big annual spending bill about to cross the finish line addresses other health policy changes, such as giving the FDA authority to regulate “synthetic” nicotine. Joanne Kenen of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Politico, Rachel Cohrs of Stat, and Jessie Hellmann of Modern Healthcare join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Plus, for extra credit, the panelists recommend their favorite health policy stories of the week they think you should read, too.
The president used broad language to say that Americans no longer needed to worry about surprise bills, but there are exceptions to the new law that could cost unsuspecting consumers.
The insurance company said that the birth of the Bull family’s twins was not an emergency and that NICU care was “not medically necessary.” The family’s experience with a huge bill sent to collections happened in 2020, but it exposes a hole in the new No Surprises law that took effect Jan. 1.
Some practitioners object to the way upfront cost estimates are designed, saying they could affect access to care and are burdensome. Other experts disagree.
The No Surprises Act protects patients from surprise out-of-network bills. But there are caveats. For instance, these protections apply only to care in a hospital. This episode breaks it all down.
The new federal law will provide protection against surprise medical bills for between 6 million and 7 million Californians who are not covered under state law.