U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids, D-3rd Dist., on Monday introduced the Insurance Accountability and Transparency Act to help prevent “surprise” medical billing.
The legislation requires insurance companies to update their provider directories at least once every six months, so patients don’t unintentionally receive out-of-network care.
“When Kansans look to see if a doctor or hospital is in-network from their insurance company, they expect and depend on that information to be accurate, so they can make decisions about care for themselves and their families. But right now, too many folks are unknowingly relying on inaccurate information – and are paying the price in surprise medical bills,” Rep. Davids said.
Currently, there are no federal laws mandating private insurance companies to update their directories of doctors, hospitals or other providers that are in-network, and therefore covered by an insurance policy.
This means patients may visit a doctor that their insurance directory says is in-network, only to later find out the provider is out-of-network when they’re hit with an unexpected bill.
The Insurance Accountability and Transparency Act makes it clear that insurance companies are responsible for updating their directories so that patients have accurate and reliable information when making decisions about their health care, according to Rep. Davids.
“This commonsense legislation will help ensure insurance companies do their part to provide folks with accurate information, so they aren’t hit with a crippling bill they never saw coming. Health care is expensive enough as it is, and surprise medical bills only add to the burden. This is an issue that Democrats and Republicans agree need to be fixed, and I’m committed to doing just that,” Rep. Davids said.
A study by the University of Chicago found that more than half of American adults have been surprised by a medical bill they thought would be covered by their health insurance. Twenty percent of those surprise bills were a result of a doctor not being included in the patient’s health insurer’s network.
To view the bill, visit https://davids.house.gov/sites/davids.house.gov/files/Insurance%20Accountability%20and%20Transparency%20Act.pdf.