(Bonta) Floor: 38-10-32
In the past two years, nearly a third of privately insured individuals received a surprise medical bill after their health plan paid less than they expected. Nearly a quarter got a bill from a doctor from whom they did not expect to receive a bill, according to a national survey from Consumer Reports National Research Center. Many of these “surprise bills”, which ranged from hundreds of dollars to thousands, were expected to be covered by the individual’s insurance plans because they came from regular hospital visits, scheduled surgeries, and ER visits at hospitals that were in-network. However, when certain functions of a hospital are contracted to entities that are out-of-network (i.e. when insurers don’t have their own in-network medical specialists to provide needed care), patients receive unexpected charges. AB533 would have protected consumers from these “surprise bills” from out-of-network medical specialists.