Surprise Medical Bills
A new survey from the Consumer Reports Survey Center found that 1/3 of Americans had faced a surprise medical bill – and that most don’t know where to turn to correct errors or get help.
Whether it’s a shocking bill for an ER visit, a last-minute switch to an out-of-network anesthesiologist, or a bill that just doesn’t add up, consumers need protection and the tools to contest unfair or inaccurate bills.
New York’s groundbreaking legislation recently went into effect, protecting consumers from getting caught in billing disputes between providers and insurance companies. Consumers Union is also supporting legislation in other states across the country, including California, Texas, New Jersey, and Connecticut.
Consumers Union has also created an interactive tool to help consumers in every state find solutions to surprise medical bills.
We’re collecting consumers’ stories about surprise medical bills. Share your own here, or join the conversation on Twitter using #medicalbills.
- Full Surprise Bills Survey Results
- Interactive Surprise Bills Complaint Tool
- New York Case Study: Protecting Consumers from Surprise Out-of-Network Bills
- Webinar for Lawmakers and State Insurance Regulators on New York’s Victory of Surprise Out-of-Network Bills
- An Unwelcome Surprise: How New Yorkers Are Getting Stuck with Unexpected Medical Bills from Out-of-Network Providers, New York State Department of Financial Services, March 7, 2012. This report kicked of the discussion of the issue in the state.
- New Yorkers Speak Out About Surprise Medical Bills: Consumer Stories About Medical Bill Shock, Consumers Union, March 24, 2014
- California Surprise Bills Legislation: AB 533 and SB 137
- Summary of Consumer Protection Provisions in NY Bill
- Full text of NY bill
- “Consumer Statement on Out-of-Network Billing Health Insurance Legislation” [Testimony before the NY State Legislature]
- Sign on Letter Urging the State Legislature to Adopt the Out-of-Network Provisions in the Governor’s 2014-2014 Executive Budget
- Memorandum in Support Out of Network Legislation issued by New Yorkers for Accessible Health Coverage
- Press Statement on Out-of-Network Coverage, New Yorkers for Accessible Health Coverage
- Press Release, Governor Cuomo Announces Department of Financial Services Investigation into Out-of-Network Medical Costs Affecting New Yorkers Across the State, March 7, 2012
- Roni Caryn Rabin, “Out-of-Network Bills for In-Network Health Care”, The New York Times, November 19, 2012
- Rick Karlin, “Cuomo seeks ‘surprise billing’ Rx”, timesunion.com, June 10, 2013
- Tara Siegel Bernard, “Out of Network, Not by Choice, and Facing Huge Health Bills”, The New York Times, October 18, 2013
- “Editorial: Pass law to stop surprise medical bills”, Newsday, February 13, 2014.
- Press Release, Superintendent Lawsky Sends Letter to Legislature Urging Passage of Legislation in State Budget to Protect Consumers From Surprise, Out-of-Network Medical Bills, March, 24, 2014
- Hartocolis, Anemona. “New York Curbs Medical Bills Containing Surprises”. The New York Times. March 30, 2014
- Blair Horner, A Budget Issue Worth Fighting For, WAMC Northeast Public Radio, March 3, 2014
- “Cuomo proposing out-of-network health coverage”, Associated Press for The Wall Street Journal, February 27, 2014.
- Charles Bell, OpEd, “New York needs law to prevent ‘surprise’ medical bills”, lohud: The Journal News, March 24, 2014.
- Catherina Yang, “NY Grants Consumers Landmark Protection From Surprise Medical Bills”,Epoch Times, March 31, 2014.
- Matthew L. McKibben, “Cuomo administration pushes for out-of-network billing protection”, The Legislative Gazette, March 25, 2014.
- Caroline Chen, “Surprise Medical Bills Lead to Protection Laws: Health”, Bloomberg News, April 4, 2014,
- Chris Cardish, “New York’s Patient Protections May Be National Model”, Governing: The States and Localities April 15, 2014