STATEHOUSE (Jan. 22, 2020) –State Rep. Ben Smaltz’s (R-Auburn) bill protecting Hoosiers from surprise medical billing passed unanimously out of the House Insurance Committee on Wednesday.
Smaltz said surprise billing is 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. An 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.
“Committee testimony was encouraging because we all agree a patient should be protected from surprise billing,” Smaltz said. “I personally know people that have went the extra mile to make sure they were in an in-network facility with in-network physicians, only to receive a staggering medical bill weeks later. It’s very important to help Hoosiers and prevent this unfair practice.”
Smaltz’s 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.
State Rep. Ben Smaltz (R-Auburn) represents House District 52,
which includes DeKalb County as well as portions of Allen and Steuben counties.
CAPTION: State Rep. Ben Smaltz (R-Auburn) presents House Bill 1004 to the House Insurance Committee Jan. 15, 2020, at the Statehouse in Indianapolis. The legislation is now eligible for consideration in the full House of Representatives.