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Advocates Debunk Misinformation Campaign, Implore Governor to Veto SB 1122
Date:6/9/2009

for doctors to "balance-bill," or charge patients an additional amount over what their insurer will pay. Many patients will not be able to afford such out-of-pocket medical bills.

FACT 3:

SB 1122 will have a significant fiscal impact on the State of Florida.

The State's own actuaries estimate the fiscal impact to the State Employees' Group Health Insurance Program to range from $5.1 million to $18.5 million in FY 2010-2011.

FACT 4:

Few states have broad requirements on direct assignment of benefits, and most states have decided against enacting such a policy due to the radical disruption that would result in established PPO networks. Since 2005, the only state other than Florida to enact any such a law was New Jersey in 2007, but that law applies only to ambulance services.

On the contrary, a growing number of state regulators are moving to crack down on practices such as balance billing, which SB 1122 would help make more common. In December, the Wall Street Journal reported the New York State Insurance Department is drafting proposed regulations that could force more disclosure by medical providers and insurers and shield consumers from unexpected charges. California regulators recently made it illegal for people covered by health maintenance organizations to be balance-billed for out-of-network emergency services. And late last year Illinois put out a bulletin that protects many consumers from balance bills in certain situations if they make a "good faith" effort to use in-network doctors.

Proponents of SB 1122 fought off numerous attempts to insert consumer protections against balance billing and unreasonable medical fees at each stage of the legislative process. Florida will be out of step with the rest of the country if it approves SB 1122 with no such consumer protections.

FACT 5:


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SOURCE Consumer Federation of the Southeast
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