Georgia Senate introduces Health Care Bill

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ATLANTA, Ga. (WJBF) – A new bill introduced in the Georgia Senate today could help you save money the next time you go to the hospital.

Georgia’s Senate Finance Chair says this bill would make insurers and medical providers handle any costs, particularly out-of-network coverage and remove the burden from patients.

Atlanta Bureau Chief, Archith Seshadri, reports from our Georgia Capitol Newsroom.

A trip to the emergency room can quickly add up.

Sandi Marcus director of Georgia Coalition for Vaccine Choice
“It’s the patient’s rights to know what things are going to cost them”

That’s why Georgia lawmakers want to make healthcare affordable.

Senator Chuck Hufstetlar Senate Finance Chair
“Medical bankruptcy in this country. Many often times people are in an emergency situation and get a bill because someone was out of network”

Sandi Marcus Director of Georgia Coalition for vaccine Choice
“Well I’ve dealt with it as a patient myself. I was in a very serious accident about 15 years ago. I was life-flighted and the bill was $35000” the new bill could make insurers and medical providers responsible for out-of-network costs.

Senator Chuck Hufstetlar Senate Finance Chair
“You can go for an emergency at the hospital and the E.R. physicians group may not work for the hospital. They may not be in network, radiologist, anesthesiologist may not be in network. And all of a sudden you have no choice and people have no choice in these emergency situations.”

Sandi Marcus
“My family was not briefed or if we had any rights to refuse certain treatments.”

According to a recent study by the American Journal for Public Health, nearly 60% of people who file for bankruptcy say it’s because of medical debt.

Sandi Marcus Director of Georgia Coalition for Vaccine Choice
“The hospital bill was astronomical. It was life or death so you are going to choose to receive the services.”

Senators say it’s worked well in other states.

Senator Chuck Hufstetlar Senate Finance Chair
“The consumer is left out and instead of them getting the it will be worked out by the other people will be involved, as it should be.”

Senator Chuck Hufstetlar Senate Finance Chair
“The health care provider will get a prompt payment. It may not be what they want but they’ll get a payment. It has been very successful in other states.”

Sandi Marcus Director of Georgia Coalition for Vaccine Choice
“I think the patient will benefit and that’s what I am concerned with.”

The bill now heads to a study committee for review.

Georgia’s Senate Finance Chair says the peach state is number one in the country, when it comes to narrow network providers. The proposed changes would require a payment from the insurance to the health care provider within 30 days in these emergency situations and a means to negotiate if they don’t agree with the amount.

This new health bill will now be reviewed by a study committee and then go through the motions before lawmakers discuss it. It’ll then have to receive a majority vote through both the Georgia senate and Georgia house of representative, before it lands on governor Brian Kemp’s desk. If the governor vetoes the bill, it would need a two thirds majority to become a law.


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