Insurance regulator eyes an end to ‘surprise’ medical bills

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – Pennsylvania’s insurance regulator is floating a proposal to protect people against expensive medical bills at out-of-network rates, including emergency care.

Insurance Commissioner Teresa Miller said Tuesday her goal is to take consumers out of billing disputes between insurers and health care providers.

Under her proposal, the consumer would be liable for nothing more than they would pay a provider for an in-network service. Providers and insurers would have to work out any additional payment, if there’s anything beyond that.

Miller held an informational hearing last fall on the problem of “surprise balance” bills being sent to patients who thought their treatment was covered by their insurance network.

Miller wants her 19-page proposal to result in legislation. It’s on the Insurance Department’s website for public comment through Feb. 29.

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