Letter to the editor: Policymakers must enforce law

Posted 10/12/21

Hospitals are the last resort for many, but unfortunately, whether it be life-saving procedures or standard care, these visits can leave individuals with thousands of …

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Letter to the editor: Policymakers must enforce law

Posted

Hospitals are the last resort for many, but unfortunately, whether it be life-saving procedures or standard care, these visits can leave individuals with thousands of dollars in medical bills. Surprise billing is an issue both in my home state of Colorado and America as a whole.

Most Americans expect to pay only a standardized copay through their insurance, but there are countless stories of patients being saddled with surprise bills that they were not prepared for. Recent polling from ALG Research and Keating Research, conducted on behalf of Consumers for Quality Care, showed that more than three-quarters of Coloradans are concerned about receiving these surprise bills.

Fortunately, legislation passed in December 2020 will protect Americans from many of these surprise bills beginning in 2022, including “balance billing,” which occurs when a patient is unknowingly treated by an out-of-network provider at an in-network facility. However, we need our policymakers to ensure that these laws are being followed.

With COVID-19, Coloradans, particularly those in employer plans, faced the threat of surprise bills from COVID hospitalization. Patients, at their sickest, should not have the onus on them to ensure they're only receiving in-network care. By 2022 there should be strong rules and oversight in place to protect consumers from surprise billing if we are to end these unfair billing practices.

Jeeva Senthilnathan

Parker

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