The Out of Network Transparency Act, which will be up for a vote in the New Jersey Legislature soon, would help protect us from surprise medical bills. It would crack down on unfair medical billing practices that hurt consumers by charging high, unregulated prices for services outside of health insurance networks. However, the opposition from highly paid specialists and for-profit hospital owners is threatening to stop the bill in its tracks.
Thousands of New Jerseyans get hit with shocking, unfair medical bills that they cannot afford and they have little or no leverage to negotiate with powerful and wealthy health care providers.
The provisions of A1952 that health care facilities and providers disclose their network status and the estimated costs of services to consumers, and that carriers disclose up-to-date lists of health care facilities and in-network providers. These provisions will establish improvements in transparency.
AARP supports the bill’s provisions that hold consumers harmless when they receive emergency care or have a scheduled procedure at an in-network facility, only to find out after the fact that one or more of the health professionals were out-of-network. This must stop.
Consumers need fair treatment.