AMAC recognizes that the surprise medical billing issue is of great concern for the membership. We’ve heard from some members how they and their family members sought care at an in-network facility, thinking they had coverage, only later to be blindsided by a bill for thousands of dollars for treatment they received from someone they did not know, nor were they told, was an out-of-network provider. Among other prerequisites, H.R. 3502 addresses surprise billing by providing a much-needed does of transparency for health insurers and requiring a fair and equitable arbitration process for settling billing disagreements.
May 1, 2020
The Honorable Raul Ruiz, M.D. 36th Congressional District of California 2342 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, DC 20515
Dear Congressman Ruiz,
On behalf of the 2.1 million members of AMAC – Association of Mature American Citizens, including over 4500 residing in CA-36, I write to offer our support for H.R. 3502, the “Protecting People From Surprise Medical Bills Act.”
The surprise medical billing issue is of great concern for our members. Some of them have related stories of how they and their family members sought care at an in-network facility, thinking they had coverage, only later to be blindsided by a bill for thousands of dollars for treatment they received from someone they did not know, nor were they told, was an out-of-network provider.
Your bill is both timely and important because it provides a much-needed dose of transparency by requiring health insurers to provide online and print directories of in-network health care providers for policyholders. It also requires the inclusion of important in-network and out-of-network deductible information on policyholder insurance cards. H.R. 3502 would also relieve the anxiety of dealing with an emergent situation and the accompanying worry over out-of-pocket expenses because it applies in-network cost sharing requirements for certain emergency and related non-emergency services that are provided out-of-network.
H.R. 3502 also establishes an independent dispute resolution process that AMAC views as a fair and equitable procedure for settling billing disagreements. This arbitration process uses an independent medical claims database to establish the cost of services rather than federal benchmarking or a threshold set by insurance companies.
As an emergency room physician, Congressman Ruiz, you know full well the effect surprise medical billing has on patients’ finances and your perspective on this issue is invaluable. AMAC thanks you and your bipartisan cosponsors for addressing this serious issue and is pleased to offer our organization’s full support for the “Protecting People From Surprise Medical Bills Act.”
Bob Carlstrom President, AMAC Action