Latest California Healthline Stories
The median cost of an air ambulance bill is more than $36,000 and seldom covered by insurance, sparking many consumer complaints. Yet none of the proposals introduced or circulating in Congress to fix surprise medical bills address these services.
Lawmakers and patients want to eliminate “surprise” out-of-network medical bills. Hospitals, doctors and insurers say they want to eliminate them, too, but their opposition to one another’s proposals could complicate legislative efforts. Stephanie Armour of The Wall Street Journal, Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico and Kimberly Leonard of the Washington Examiner join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss this, plus the latest in news about reproductive health and health care sharing ministries.
KHN correspondent Rachel Bluth appeared on PBS Newshour Weekend to talk with host Megan Thompson about the continuing problem of surprise medical bills and how the issue is currently playing on Capitol Hill.
Millions of Californians are vulnerable to hefty surprise medical bills from their trips to the emergency room. Now, state lawmakers are considering a measure to cap how much out-of-network hospitals can charge privately insured patients for emergency care, which could serve as a model for other states.
The Republican’s legislation, prepared with Sen. Patty Murray, the ranking Democrat on Alexander’s health committee, would be an ambitious lift because it also deals with prescription drug patents, health transparency and vaccine messaging.
This high-profile issue has gained bipartisan attention, but it remains unclear if that’s enough to move it to the finish line. Here’s a review of the current state of play.
Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times, Anna Edney of Bloomberg News and Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss the new abortion bans passed in Alabama and Georgia; bipartisan congressional efforts to end “surprise” out-of-network medical bills; and a new public option health insurance plan soon to be available in Washington state.
Despite the broad agreement on the need to address surprise bills, insurers and health care providers oppose the other side’s preferred solutions.
Many plastic surgeons don’t participate in health plans, even when providing emergency care at a hospital. Too often that catches patients off guard.
Three-quarters of people urge action to keep patients from facing high medical costs when their insurance doesn’t cover the care, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll.