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Lawmakers renew push to block surprise medical bills
Southern California Public Radio

Even when patients make concerted efforts to see doctors covered by their insurance plans at in-network facilities, they run the risk of unknowingly being treated by other out-of-network providers during that visit. A new state bill would protect people from paying hefty surprise medical bills stemming from such out-of-network charges.

The proposal, AB 72, says that when consumers are unknowingly treated by out-of-network radiologists, anesthesiologists or other providers, they would only pay what they would for doctors within their insurance network.  These payments would also count towards their out-of-pocket maximums.

The legislation comes on the heels of an effort last year, AB 533, that was also intended to curb surprise out-of-network bills. That bill would have made consumers responsible only for in-network rates. Insurance companies would then have been required to reimburse the out-of-network doctors at the rate they would get from Medicare.

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