Along with the inauguration of Governor Phil Murphy, a new legislative session began last month. Assemblyman Craig Coughlin, prime sponsor of the surprise out-of-network medical billing reform bill, A-2039 (Coughlin, Schaer, Lampitt) / S-485 (Vitale/Weinberg) was also elected as Speaker of the General Assembly. This is good news and increases the likelihood that the bill can pass in the legislature. In addition, Governor Murphy’s Healthcare Transition Advisory Committee recommended reform of “surprise billing” and unfair out-of-network medical claim practices in their report.
Recently, NJBIA testified as part of a broad coalition of stakeholders— consumer groups, public employee unions, trade unions and other employer associations—to enact balanced and effective out-of-network reforms.
The bills could be released from Assembly and Senate committees as early as next week!
This legislation is necessary not only for employers, employees and all consumers, but also for the state to realize savings in the public employee health benefits plans. Estimates of savings to the state and consumers have ranged from $50 to $133 million annually. Ultimately, these costs impact every taxpayer in New Jersey.
This is a victory for business, but the work is not over yet.
We need your help to get A-2039/S-485 on the Governor’s desk! Please reach out to the Assembly Speaker and the Senate President, as well as your local legislators, and ask them to support this needed legislation.
Reasons to Support Out-of-Network Legislation Today:
- Out-of-network costs play an increasingly significant role in the rising cost of healthcare for both large and small employers in New Jersey, triggering both higher premiums and out-of-pocket expenses.
- This bill will decrease the high costs associated with surprise out-of-network billing by:
- Requiring healthcare providers to tell patients whether or not the providers they are scheduled to see are in or out of their network.
- Requiring health insurance carriers to keep their websites up-to-date. This will allow prospective patients to know who is currently in their network.
- Protecting you and your employees from out-of-network charges for medical services received in an emergency at out-of-network facilities or inadvertently from out-of-network healthcare providers.
I also want to hear from you, so please share your stories and experiences – and those of your employees – in dealing with “surprise” medical bills. You can contact me at MBeaumont@njbia.org
Recent news articles and press releases related to the legislation: