Washington state issues emergency order to block surprise bills from insurers, labs

Washington state's insurance commissioner ordered all health plans to not balance bill residents for COVID-19 diagnostic testing, effective June 1. 

The order bars health plans from sending balance or "surprise" bills for COVID-19 diagnostic testing processed by in-state, out-of-network laboratories when a provider deems the test medically necessary. The order applies to out-of-state, out-of-network laboratories as well.

Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler asked health plans to notify state officials if out-of-network laboratories that are submitting claims have failed to publish a cash price or accept the published cash price of a COVID-19 diagnostic test. 

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