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March 25, 2019

The Council signed onto a joint letter with other large and small American businesses, health insurance providers, and brokers, urging Congress to take action to protect patients from surprise medical bills and manage health costs. In the letter, the coalition asks for meaningful steps to protect consumers by:

  • Prohibiting doctors from sending a surprise medical bill to patients in cases of emergency, involuntary care, or instances where the patient had no choice in choosing their provider.
  • Requiring facilities to inform patients of their doctors’ network status and possible options for seeking care from a different doctor, but not require patients to consent to out-of-network care.
  • Setting reimbursement rates that will not increase premiums or impact access for consumers by basing amounts on market rates determined by reasonable, contracted amounts paid by health insurance providers to similar doctors in a geographic area or a percentage of Medicare.
  • Ensuring that these protections apply to all health plans, including self -funded plans governed by ERISA, so consumers are protected regardless of coverage type.
  • Avoiding the use of complex, costly and opaque arbitration processes that can keep consumers in the middle and lead to higher premiums.

We expect the issue to receive bipartisan support in the House Energy and Commerce Committee in the coming weeks, though a bipartisan solution has yet to be determined.

Find the letter here.