Two huge bills, Senate Bill 359 and House Bill 888, have passed to protect the financial well-being of people that use healthcare services in Georgia. Before the twin bills, recipients of healthcare were likely to receive “surprise medical bills” with little to no ability to avoid them. A surprise medical bill would be seen when a patient sought treatment at a facility covered by their insurance but interacted with a provider that was not in their network, thereby causing a higher bill than one would have expected.
When receiving treatment at an in-network facility, one would assume that the providers within that facility would also be covered, but these bills have shed light on the fact that this is not always the case. Now, thanks to House Bill 888, certain protections are required to be implemented by medical providers to reduce or completely remove the risk of these surprise bills.
Two critical protections include:
- Requiring patient consent before receiving out-of-network medical services
- Empowering insurers and medical providers to settle disputes through a new resolution process.
Medical bills can be a massive burden, and those that require medical treatment deserve to be treated fairly and given the ability to choose their healthcare path to reduce their medical bills. These surprise medical bills threw a wrench in the system, putting patients at significant risk of having to pay a large sum of money for treatment that should be included in their insurance plan. The largest issue with the medical system before this bill was a lack of clarity and communication. When you are seeking treatment, you should not have to worry about whether or not a specific provider is in your network when you are at a facility designated as in-network by your insurance – and this bill solves this by forcing clarity and communication to the patient.
One of our primary duties at Fry | Goehring is to reduce the burden that medical treatment and bills have on our clients so this bill hits us especially hard. We deal with insurance companies, medical providers, and medical billing daily, and recognize that for someone who is not trained to work with these individuals, it can be extremely difficult. Thanks to House Bill 888, we are seeing clients receiving the correct medical care, for the appropriate cost to them. We are also seeing that our clients do not have to further burden themselves with arguing their case against medical providers and insurance companies for treatment that should have been financially covered in the first place.
For more information about the bill and its timeline, you can CLICK HERE