Opinion | To the Editor:
Patients typically receive surprise medical bills after a medical emergency, when the nearest hospital or clinic may be the only reasonable option, but falls outside of the patient’s insurance network. In this situation, because the patient is seen and treated by an out-of-network doctor, the insurance company will deny the coverage and pass the bill onto the patient. These unfortunate patients are paying high premiums and deductibles so that they can have access to health care, especially when they need it the most.
Now the insurance industry is trying to pass legislation in Congress that would let them set the rates they pay to “out of network” hospitals and doctors. This would give them the ability to low-ball providers and pocket more money, thus undermining the long-term economic viability of hospitals and doctors.