Consumers Union Applauds CA Senate, Urges Assembly to Quickly Pass Surprise Medical Bills Legislation

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We're working to make sure that when you go to an ‘in-network’ hospital on your insurance, you pay only in-network prices. Unfair loopholes allow you to get hit with out-of-network charges for medical care you thought was covered.

Monday, August 29, 2016

SACRAMENTO, CA – Consumers Union, the policy and mobilization arm of Consumer Reports, today applauded the California Senate for passing legislation to put a stop to surprise out-of-network medical bills. AB 72 (Bonta, Bonilla, Dahle, Gonzalez, Maienschein, Santiago and Wood) is bipartisan legislation that would protect consumers from surprise medical bills at in-network hospitals, labs, imaging centers and other health care facilities and ensure consumers are responsible for only their in-network cost sharing, putting an end to outrageous and unexpected out-of-network bills from doctors they did not choose.

The legislation must be passed by Wednesday, August 31 – the last day for each house to pass legislation.

“This is an important step in ending the surprise medical bills for Californians who have done all their homework to try and stay inside their insurance network. Consumers shouldn’t be left footing the bill for an out-of-network provider they never anticipated seeing or may have never even met,” said Betsy Imholz, Director of Special Projects for Consumers Union. “This fair, bipartisan bill closes a gaping loophole that puts consumers in the middle of a reimbursement battle between insurance providers and doctors. Other states are watching to see what California does. We urge the Assembly to act quickly and pass AB 72 before Wednesday’s deadline.”

Consumers Union is urging Californians to call their Assembly members at 855-977-1770 to support AB 72 and put an end to surprise medical bills in California. To learn more, visit EndSurpriseMedicalBills.org

PLEASE NOTE: Consumers Union can connect reporters with consumers who have received surprise medical bills. For more information, contact Kara Kelber at kara.kelber@consumer.org

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Contact: Kara Kelber, kara.kelber@consumer.org202-462-6262

Consumers Union is the policy and mobilization arm of Consumer Reports.  Consumers Union works for health reform, food and product safety, financial reform, and other consumer issues in Washington, D.C., the states, and in the marketplace. Consumer Reports is the world’s largest independent product-testing organization.  Using its more than 50 labs, auto test center, and survey research center, the nonprofit rates thousands of products and services annually.  Founded in 1936, Consumer Reports has over 8 million subscribers to its magazine, website, and other publications.