Bipartisan senators take aim at surprise medical bills

A bipartisan group of senators have unveiled a bill that looks to prevent out-of-network providers from charging patients more for emergency care than the amount they would have paid under their insurance, according to The Hill.

Sens. Bill Cassidy, R-La.; Tom Carper, D-Del.; Todd Young, R-Ind.; Claire McCaskill, D-Mo.; Michael Bennet, D-Colo.; and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, support the bill, and are all part of a working group that aims to improve healthcare price transparency. Under the proposal, insurers would pay additional emergency charges instead of patients.

"No American should have to file bankruptcy or fall into poverty as a result of a serious ailment or unexpected medical emergency," Mr. Carper said. "The [ACA] made great progress in reducing rates of medical bankruptcies, and this bipartisan discussion draft will build on that progress by protecting patients from surprise medical bills after they are treated in emergency situations or receive care from an out-of-network provider."

The bill would require providers to give written notification to patients who received out-of-network emergency care before they get any follow-up care to warn them of additional costs.

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