NJCA/NJ Statement on the Passage of the Out of Network Consumer Protection Act

 Statement on the Passage of the Out of Network Consumer Protection Act

 Maura Collinsgru, the Health Care Program Director at New Jersey Citizen Action and convener of the NJ For Health Care Coalition offered the following statement on the passage of S485/A2039 (Vitale, Coughlin) today by both houses of the New Jersey Legislature:

 “This bill will put a stop to surprise out of network medical bills that have victimized New Jersey health care consumers for far too long and which have unnecessarily driven up health care costs in New Jersey to the tune of almost a billion dollars a year.  Insurers and providers will now be required to clearly disclose their network status and out of pocket costs making billing practices more transparent to health care consumers.  The bill also takes necessary steps to contain health care costs in our state by sending providers who levy excessive charges into a binding arbitration process with insurers where the provider must justify an excessive charge to prevail. The bill also importantly provides consumers financial protection by prohibiting providers from sending a consumer to collections before an arbitration process had been completed. These comprehensive protections and allowing employers who self-insure to opt-in make this bill one of the strongest out-of-network consumer protection bills in the nation.”

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