This is when people, in emergency health care situations, get medical treatment from providers outside their insurance networks. Soon after, they get nailed with huge medical bills.
Post readers, and Post reporter Charles Elmore, played a big role in putting this issue on the legislative radar screen in the past year. State Insurance Consumer Advocate Sha’ron James held a hearing in Palm Beach County to get public feedback, and that’s where Post reporting on the issue and reader input made a difference.
In the spring lawmakers approved HB 221, which holds consumers harmless in emergency situations. Instead, providers such as hospitals need to work out the difference in payments and costs with insurers.