Whopper NY Medical Bills – Seeking Legislative Relief
Friday, June 14, 2013
NEW YORK – It even happens to New Yorkers who have good health insurance coverage – surprise medical bills that can total tens of thousands of dollars.
That's why consumer and health advocates are calling on lawmakers to protect consumers from the unexpected.
Joclyn Krevat says she was on life support and clearly in no position to be thinking about out-of-network providers.
Her husband is a New York teacher with good health benefits. She was at a New York hospital, so they figured everything would be OK.
But, about two weeks after she got home they checked the mail.
"I started getting enormous bills,” she recalls. “You know I thought this was a huge mistake, because I went into this thinking I had really good health insurance, but it wasn't a mistake, this is what they do."
Krevat was hit with more than $70,000 in surprise medical bills because out-of-network doctors saved her life.
With the help of Consumer Health Advocates and the State Department of Financial Services, her bill has been greatly reduced, but she believes lawmakers need to pass legislation to protect fellow New Yorkers from surprise medical bills.
Chuck Bell with New Yorkers for Accessible Health Coverage says his organization gets a steady flow of thousands of complaints about unexpected, and often very expensive, medical bills.
"We have about 2,000 people every year complaining that they have surprise medical bills,” he says. “We think we need better ground rules in the market place to give consumers fair warning when they're going to have a bill that's going to come in much higher than they would expect.
“So, we've been talking to the governor and Senate and Assembly leaders about passing legislation to prevent this problem."
New York lawmakers have already proposed measures that require hospitals to provide patients with information about the network affiliation of doctors.
Bell says greater disclosure is needed and New Yorkers should be held harmless if they were not aware providers were not in their network.
get more stories like this via email
A recently signed law expands New York City's solar property tax abatement. This four year tax abatement allows for the construction of solar …
Health and Wellness
Advocates for mental health in Maine say the stigma of suicide often prevents those most at risk from getting the help they need. The CDC reports …
Cannabis is an emerging science in which students can make new discoveries and contributions. Wayne State University in Michigan has introduced an …
Cell phones around Wisconsin and the rest of the country will be buzzing this Wednesday afternoon for a test of the federal Emergency Alert System and…
As the U.S. navigates a prolonged housing crisis, a North Dakota organization is highlighting data showing significant homeownership disparities…
A new study finds the autumn chore of raking leaves could be a disservice to budding plant life. The National Wildlife Federation found fallen leaves …
As more companies embrace sustainable practices, businesses in North Carolina are leading the charge through innovative initiatives with funds from …
Volunteer water monitoring is gaining popularity in West Virginia, and could help assess the impact on regional water quality of projects like the …