Don't allow balance billing for injured victims
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Imagine you are involved in an auto accident that is not your fault and you are hurt. The person that hit you has liability car insurance as required by law so you figure that your car and your medical bills should and will be taken care of by their auto insurance. You receive treatment for your injuries, but when it comes time to settle up, the car insurance carrier for the person that hit you will only pay half of your medical bills. The doctors you saw for your injuries balance bill you for the remaining balance. The remaining balance is thousands of dollars and you can't afford to pay. The doctors send your account to collections.
This is what could happen if 85(R) HB 2300 passes in Texas. This bill proposes that car insurance carriers for at fault parties would only have to pay what your health insurance would pay, or, if you don't have or use health insurance benefits, then 125% of what Medicare would pay. This doesn't sound too bad, but what does your health insurance have to do with this when it was the other person's fault? You and/or your employer pay for your health insurance for your benefit, not the benefit of someone that hurts you. And what does Medicare have to do with this issue, especially if the doctors don't accept Medicare? Should doctors be forced to accept rates related to programs they don't participate in? Most doctors and medical facilities charge at least 250% of Medicare rates. Why? Because it is a free market and they have to charge based upon what it costs to keep their practice going. This includes considering a range of accounts and payers where they may collect nothing for their services. It also involves how long it takes and how much it costs for them to collect, so time and risk. 125% of Medicare rates might be okay if providers were guaranteed to be paid in full at the time of service for accident victims, but with these patients they may not see payment for a year or two, if they see payment at all. Certainly the risk and monetary value of time should be a factor in payments for seeing accident victims, unless you want all doctors to turn accident victims away.
This bill would drastically reduce access to quality care for accident victims.
What can you do? You can call your representative and ask them to say no to 85(R) HB 2300. Here is a link where you can find your representative: http://www.house.state.tx.us/members/find-your-representative/
And here is a link to the bill so you can take a look yourself: http://www.legis.state.tx.us/tlodocs/85R/billtext/html/HB02300I.htm
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