Could health insurance companies get any worse? Not only are they ripping patients off with massive surprise medical bills, but they have also spent millions of dollars lobbying Congress so they can set the reimbursement rates they pay to doctors and hospitals. The balance of power between patients, doctors and insurance companies is out of control.
Utah patients are being surprised with high medical bills in many ways, but oftentimes it comes during a medical emergency when we have little choice to see an in-network doctor. We should not be punished by our insurance because we have a medical emergency. Insurance companies are also charging high monthly premiums, providing few in-network doctor options and high deductible plans with little protection against the cost of care. Profits for major insurance providers have increased greatly in the last five years. Meanwhile, hospitals and doctors are pushed to the financial breaking point and patients stare down bankruptcy.
Congress can change the balance of power between patients, providers and insurance companies. Utah patients and their families don’t need the mental and emotional trauma of surprise medical bills after experiencing physical trauma or life-threatening medical conditions.
A real solution is within Congress’ reach: independent dispute resolution. It’s already working in states like New York and Texas. It allows hospitals, doctors and insurance companies to use independent arbitration to settle billing disputes, while patients are not held accountable.
We can’t give big insurance any more power. They have already shown us how they’ll use it.