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The Kaiser Family Foundation study found among people with large employer coverage, an average of 22 percent of emergency room visits in Florida result in at least one out-of-network charge.
Julio Ochoa / WUSF Public Media

Florida is one of nine states that have taken on unexpected health care bills by passing comprehensive regulations. 

Proposal Targets Emergency Transportation For Patients

Dec 16, 2018

Insured patients in Florida shouldn’t have to pay large bills if they require emergency medical transportation services. They also should have access to copies of their medical records free of charge, a state advisory board agreed Thursday.

Complaints from Floridians hit with surprise bills after a ride in an ambulance have the state’s insurance consumer advocate looking for answers.  First responders are pointing at insurers.

Insurance Chief Pushes Patient Billing Change

Oct 2, 2017

Nothing is going to slow down Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier from asking the Florida Legislature to prevent insured patients from being hit with high out-of-pocket costs for emergency medical transportation.

Health Insurance Panel Eyes Transportation Costs

Sep 26, 2017

A state insurance advisory panel on Tuesday will finalize its legislative recommendations for the upcoming session and will consider, among other things, a proposal to ban emergency medical transportation providers from hitting insured customers with out-of-pocket medical bills.

Because of a new law, Florida patients won’t have to pay for medical care by doctors outside their insurance network if the service was performed at an in-network hospital.

The law effectively bans a practice called “balance billing.” But emergency room doctors say the new law misses the mark.


Scott Signs Key Health Bills, Vetoes Dental Measure

Apr 15, 2016

Gov. Rick Scott on Thursday signed a series of health-care bills, including a measure that supporters say will help shield patients from getting hit with surprise tabs after going to hospital emergency rooms.

Health Bills, Tax Cuts, 'Legacy Florida' Go To Scott

Mar 31, 2016

Scott received a handful of health-care bills, including a measure (HB 221) that addresses a controversial health-insurance issue known as "balance billing."

Prescribing, Insurance Changes Get Last-Minute Approval

Mar 14, 2016

Florida lawmakers Friday approved measures that would expand the drug-prescribing powers of advanced registered nurse practitioners and address a controversial health-insurance issue known as "balance billing."

With the support of doctors and small businesses, the Florida House has unanimously passed a bill that would clear the way for "direct primary care” agreements.

Series Of Health Care Bills Poised To Pass House

Mar 2, 2016

After the issues sailed through committees, the House is poised to pass a series of bills dealing with health-care regulations.

With supporters saying they are seeking to protect patients from surprise expenses, the Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday approved a bill that deals with a closely watched health-care issue known as "balance billing."

House Ready To Take Up Health Care Agenda

Feb 29, 2016

With Republican leaders pushing for major changes in the health-care system, the House will take up a series of high-profile health issues during a floor session Tuesday.

After a lobbying battle that has included insurers, doctors and hospitals, a Senate committee Tuesday approved a potential compromise on a controversial issue known as "balance billing."

The issue primarily stems from some patients receiving emergency treatment from doctors and other health providers who are not part of the networks in the patients' insurance plans. That has led to patients receiving unexpected bills for treatment.

Senate To Take Up High-Profile Health Issues

Feb 1, 2016

With House Republican leaders pushing for a wide range of regulatory changes in the health-care industry, a Senate committee will wade into some of the key issues this week.

Balance Billing Among Legislative Priorities For Cabinet

Jan 21, 2016

Citrus, rape kits, credit card skimmers, synthetic drugs, life insurance, water, medical bills, racketeering and Iran.

That is the short version of the legislative priorities for Florida's three independently elected Cabinet members. While they can't sponsor or vote on bills or sign them into law, the Cabinet members hold important leadership roles in state government and each is working with lawmakers to pass legislation.

'Balance Billing' Proposal Clears House Panel

Jan 20, 2016

In an issue watched closely by doctors, hospitals and insurers, a House panel Tuesday approved a proposal aimed at protecting patients from surprise charges when they need emergency care.

A consumer health measure aimed at protecting insured patients from surprise bills was filed Thursday by state Sen. Rene Garcia, R-Hialeah.  

Lawmakers Call For Greater Price Transparency

Jan 8, 2016

Two Republican lawmakers Thursday proposed wide-ranging bills that seek more transparency about the prices of services at hospitals and other types of health-care facilities.

Editor's note: This story has been updated and contains a correction.

Florida lawmakers should enact more protections for health-insurance consumers and families of workers in small businesses, a state advisory board says.

Millions of Floridians -- including 175,000 state workers and their families -- are in health plans that place them at risk for whopping surprise bills after hospital treatment.