STATEHOUSE (Jan. 28, 2020) – The House of Representatives Tuesday supported State Rep. Ben Smaltz’s (R-Auburn) bill that would protect Hoosiers from surprise medical billing.
Smaltz said surprise billing occurs when an individual goes to an in-network health care provider for a service, but is seen by an out-of-network physician. The patient then receives a large medical bill not covered by insurance. According to Smaltz, one example would be when a person is having surgery, and their surgeon is covered by insurance, but other medical providers like an anesthesiologist is out-of-network.
“Moving this proposed legislation across to the Senate is just another hurdle cleared as we try to protect Hoosiers from this unfair practice,” Smaltz said. “Hoosiers should not be burdened with the possibility of a surprise and many times costly bill when seeking medical attention at an in-network provider.”
State Rep. Martin Carbaugh (R-Fort Wayne), co-author of the bill, said legislation would prohibit health care providers from billing an in-network patient for amounts exceeding in-network rates, which are usually covered by their insurance. Patients would still be responsible for any deductibles, copayments and coinsurance amounts. Hoosiers could opt to receive services from out-of-network providers if they choose.
“Surprise billing is an issue that affects hundreds, if not thousands of Hoosiers each year,” said Carbaugh, chair of the House Insurance Committee. “When you look at some health insurance plans, the out-of-network benefits are certainly very different than the in-network benefits, which can be the difference of thousands of dollars. I look for this legislation to make a major impact on the lives of Hoosiers.”
State Rep. Martin Carbaugh (R-Fort Wayne) represents House
District 81, which includes a portion of Allen County.
State Rep. Ben Smaltz (R-Auburn) represents House District 52,
which includes DeKalb County as well as portions of Allen and Steuben counties.