Biden’s plan to halt surprise medical bills faces pushback in Congress

Medical Bills Faces Pushback in Congress

Last year, Congress passed a law to protect patients from surprise out-of-network medical charges. However, that law has since been disintegrated. A bipartisan group of 152 lawmakers has been combative with Biden’s administration’s plan to regulate the law and medical providers, stating the grim consequences for underserved patients.

We’ve heard firsthand the massive amounts of unexpected bills that patients have faced when they receive treatment from hospitals and doctors outside their insurance company network. This generally would happen when patients seek care at an in-network hospital, but a physician like an ER doctor or anesthesiologist who treats the patient is not covered but the insurance plan. The insurer would only pay a small portion of the bill, and the patient is now left with paying the remainder of the balance, usually an astronomical amount. 

Last December, Congress passed the No Surprises Act to protect patients from that experience after long, hard-fought negotiations and finally came to an agreement between both parties: a 30-day negotiation period between health providers and insurers when bill disputes arise, followed by arbitration if agreements can’t be reached.

The rule, which would take effect in January 2022, effectively leaves the patients out of the fight, leaving providers and insurers to work it out amongst themselves. An analysis by the Congressional Budget Office showed the No Surprises Act would lower health insurance premiums by about 1% and shave $17 billion of the federal deficit. 

But now, doctors, medical associations, and members of Congress are screaming foul, arguing the rule be released by the Biden Administration in September for implementing the law favors insurers and doesn’t follow the spirit of the legislation. Although 152 lawmakers signed the latter, the backlash has not won the support of some powerful democrats who are still urging the administration to move forward with the plan.

At Florida HealthCare Insurance, not only are we a family-owned and operated business out of Coral Springs and Parkland, but we can also guarantee you the best coverage for the most affordable rate and as always, keep you up to date as policies like the one above hit the floor of Congress. Questions? Looking for affordable health insurance? Give us a call — our award-winning agents are ready and waiting to help! 

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