In New Beltway Ad Campaign, Coalition Calls for Policymakers to Address Unfair Surprise Billing from Out-of-Network Providers

JUNE 24, WASHINGTON, D.C. – A major new advertising campaign from the Coalition Against Surprise Medical Billing highlights the unfair and unreasonable practice of surprise medical billing. American patients and families can’t afford these out-of-control bills from out-of-network providers – and they shouldn’t have to. The Coalition’s campaign underscores the urgency for federal legislation to put an end to this disturbing trend – which wouldn’t be tolerated in any other setting.

Millions of Americans receive surprise medical bills every year at prices that cause severe financial hardship and even bankruptcy. According to a recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll, more than four in ten (41 percent) of insured adults ages 18-64 said they received a surprise bill in the last two years. The Coalition Against Surprise Medical Billing is a national coalition representing leading employers, health insurance providers and health organizations that support meaningful solutions to protect patients from surprise medical bills and lower costs for families, employers and taxpayers.

Stop Surprise Billing – The Right Way features customers unknowingly receiving a bill they weren’t expecting from a restaurant chef who was “out-of-network.” The video is part of a multi-million dollar advertising campaign launching this week across Beltway digital, radio, social platforms and print to highlight how unacceptable the all too common practice of surprise medical billing is for millions of Americans – and demonstrates the need to advance solutions that protect consumers from these surprise charges in the right way.

Ever heard of an out-of-network chef?

The latest advertising push comes ahead of the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) mark-up of the Lower Health Care Costs Act of 2019. As part of that proposal, patients would be protected from surprise medical bills related to emergency care and in cases where they are treated at an in-network facility. The proposal would also establish a fair, market-based benchmark rate for reimbursement for out-of-network providers – a critical safeguard against exorbitant charges that increase costs for consumers, employers and taxpayers. Importantly, the proposal avoids a costly arbitration process that could encourage providers to increase their prices even higher – resulting in higher premiums for everyone and increased taxpayer costs.

To view the Coalition’s statement on the HELP Committee legislation, click here. To view the Coalition’s policy principles, click here.