Texas Passes State Legislation to Prevent Surprise Medical Bills

Legislation leaving cost disputes between health insurance companies and medical providers takes effect Sept. 1, 2020.

6/20/2019 8:00 AM

Texas Passes State Legislation to Prevent Surprise Medical Bills

Texas is the latest state to join more than a dozen states that have some form of legislation to prevent surprise medical bills resulting from providers’ and insurers’ cost discrepancies and out-of-network charges for consumers.

Earlier this month, Texas Gov. Greg Abbot signed Senate Bill 1264, bipartisan legislation that removes consumers from disputes between providers and insurers, NPR reports. The bill takes effect Sept. 1, 2020.

“Under the new law, insurance companies and medical providers can enter into arbitration to negotiate a payment—and state officials would oversee that process,” NPR reports.

Colorado and New Mexico are among states with surprise medical legislation while debate on federal measures continues.

Texas also recently passed legislation that would help consumers with federally regulated health plans, Senate Bill 1037, according to NPR. Senate Bill 1264 does not apply to those plans. Senate Bill 1037 limits a surprise medical bill from impacting a consumers’ credit report, no matter what type of health plan they have, NPR reports.

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