Consumers Score Victory with Georgia Provider Directory Legislation Signed into Law
Victory! On Tuesday, April 26, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed SB 302 into law. Georgia SB 302 requires health insurers to keep their provider directories accurate and up-to-date. In addition, consumers who receive a surprise out-of-network medical bill because of an inaccuracy in the provider directory will receive financial compensation. This marks an important victory in our fight against surprise medical bills.
A survey conducted by Consumers Union and Georgians for a Healthy Future found pervasive errors in provider directories. In one of the plans surveyed, more than 75 percent of listings had some kind of error. These errors included out-of-network providers being listed as in-network, claiming the provider was accepting new patients when in fact they were not, or an incorrect phone number or address.
These errors in provider directories can be costly for consumers. Many of you have told us your story of doing the right thing and checking to make sure doctors working on your procedures were in-network, only to find out the provider directory was wrong and a provider was out-of-network.
Your work made this victory possible! Thanks to our Georgia story sharers like Danny Postell who spoke at an Atlanta panel earlier this year sponsored by Georgians for a Healthy Future and Georgia Watch, and who was later featured in a TIME article on surprise medical bills–and the work of our Georgia advocacy partners–lawmakers in Georgia realized that this was an issue worth addressing and now consumers will be protected from provider directory inaccuracies. But we’re not done yet. We plan on continuing to fight to get consumers protected from surprise medical bills in Georgia.
Would you like to get involved in our work to end surprise medical bills? Check out our campaign and sign our petition!