Experts say a Texas law doesn't go far enough to protect patients


A state law designed to protect against exorbitant, surprise hospital charges only covers about a third of Texans. Experts say a federal law is needed to cover all of us.

Rice's Dr. Ken Janda says the law only covers those who have insurance regulated by the Texas Department of Insurance.

"The people who are not protected by this law are people who work for large employers that have what we refer to as self-funded insurance programs."

And that's most of us. Georgetown Professor David Hyman says a lot of states are in the same boat on this.

"So I think it's likely there's going to be some kind of federal legislation; how expansive it is, what model it follows remains to be seen."

About nine million Texans are not covered by the state law.

Professor Hyman says one idea is to unite the doctors and the hospitals.

"To require any in-network hospital have all of their doctors be in-network as well."

A surprise medical bill is defined as a big charge for a medical service a patient didn’t know was outside of his or her health insurance network.


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