State Rep. Graham Filler, who serves on the House Health Policy Committee, today voted in support of legislation to protect Michigan residents from the practice of surprise medical billing.
Surprise medical bills typically stem from a disagreement between a patient’s insurer and an out-of-network medical provider leaving the patient stuck with the bill. Patients often either do not have the choice or are not given adequate notice that the medical service is not in-network.
“This bipartisan plan is a winner,” said Filler, of DeWitt. “It’s a popular concept that will protect people from the unfair practice of surprise medical billing, which has harmed patients and families for years.”
Filler said just one unexpected and overwhelming bill could send a family into bankruptcy – even if they have a quality health insurance plan.
The bipartisan plan requires medical providers to give 24 hours’ notice if their service will result in out-of-pocket costs to a patient along with a written estimate of those costs.
In emergency situations, where consent cannot be given, the patient will still be protected from surprise fees and the medical bill will be treated as if it were in-network.
“No one deserves to receive a medical bill they didn’t expect and can’t afford,” Filler said. “Almost everyone has a personal experience with surprise bills, which are contributing to our nation’s exorbitant health care costs. We must put an end to this practice in Michigan.”
The plan was overwhelmingly approved by the House Health Policy Committee and now moves to be considered by the Ways and Means Committee.