Balanced billing (medical debt)

Protect patients from surprise billing and medical debt by ensuring that consumers receiving care at an in-network facility are charged the in-network rate for out-of-network providers working in that facility.

The intent of this legislation is to stop surprise medical billing, which happens when a patient is treated at a health care facility that is in her health plan’s network, but certain providers or services may be out of her health plan’s network – and the patient is billed the out-of-network rate, resulting in unexpected charges that could be hundreds or thousands of dollars.

This bill would ensure that patients pay in-network rates at in-network facilities – and would Thirteen other states restrict surprise balanced billing – and it’s time Washington did, too.

HB 2114: Balanced Billing

WSNA supports balanced bill legislation that would:

  • Patients would pay only in-network cost sharing amounts when using an emergency room or in-network health care facility – even if services are provided by an out-of-network provider.
  • Requires health care facilities to tell patients who is in a health insurance company’s network.
  • Takes the patient out of the middle by requiring binding arbitration of balance billing disputes between health carriers and out-of-network providers.

Nurses experience issues with balanced billing, too

Have you or your family had an experience with a surprise medical bill, based on treatment by an out-of-network provider in an in-network facility? If so, please share your story with us!


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