New Analysis Details Extent of Surprise Medical Bills Consumers Face

About one in six hospital stays for patients with large employer health insurance includes a bill that isn’t covered by the plan, according to a new analysis that provides new details on the extent of the “surprise bill” problem, the Washington Examiner reports.

The analysis, published by the research firm Kaiser Family Foundation, could help shape the push for legislation to counter surprise medical bills expected in Congress later this year.

Kaiser found that, in 2016, almost 18 percent of inpatient admissions to a hospital or surgical center have a claim for an out-of-network provider.

Even when enrollees choose in-network facilities, 15 percent of admissions include a bill from an out-of-network provider, such as from a surgeon or an anesthesiologist.

Kaiser also referenced a 2016 survey from the foundation that found that, among individuals with medical debt they couldn’t afford to pay, nearly seven in 10 didn’t know the provider was out-of-network when they got care.

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