‘The System Is Failing’: More Than Half Of Americans Have Received A Surprise Medical Bill Despite Transparency Efforts
Out-of-network services end up costing patients big. And as insurance designs become more complicated with more tiered or narrow networks, medical bills are only going to get more tricky.
More Than Half Of Americans Have Received A Surprise Medical Bill
More than half of American adults have been surprised by a medical bill that they thought would have been covered by insurance, according to a new survey. The surprise charges were most often for physician services (53%), followed closely by laboratory tests (51%), per a survey facilitated by the research institute NORC at the University of Chicago that represents more than 1,000 Americans, 57% of whom received a surprise medical bill. Other charges were related to hospitals or other healthcare facility charges (43%), imaging (35%) and prescription drugs (29%). Twenty percent of their surprise bills were a result of a doctor not being part of the network. (Kacik, 8/30)
Kaiser Health News:
The $109K Heart Attack Bill Is Down To $332. What About Other Surprise Bills?
A Texas hospital that charged a teacher $108,951 for care after a heart attack slashed the bill to $332.29 Thursday — but not before the huge charge sparked a national conversation over what should be done to combat surprise medical bills that afflict a growing number of Americans. The story of Drew Calver was first reported by Kaiser Health News and NPR on Monday as part of the “Bill of the Month” series, which examines U.S. health care prices and the troubles patients run up against in the $3.5 trillion industry. (Terhune, 8/31)