The data: 20% of adults or their families got slapped with a surprise medical bill this year, and 22% were charged over $1,000 unexpectedly, according to a June Morning Consult survey of 2,210 US adults.
Digging deeper into the data: Many US adults aren’t aware of new legislation that protects them from unanticipated billing.
US patients aren’t relying on insurers for deals: They’re taking matters into their own hands and tapping low-cost pharmacies or tools like Mark Cuban’s pharmacy, GoodRx, and Blink Health.
These digital-first companies are becoming more reliable for consumers, whether they’re insured or uninsured. That’s because having insurance doesn’t guarantee immunity from surprise medical billing.
2 things will ease billing woes: But they'll take considerable time to implement.
1. Price transparency rules
Although hospitals are lagging on posting CMS-mandated prices for their procedures, it appears insurers are ahead of the game. Payers like United Healthcare and Anthem have already posted their rates online. It’s too early to tell whether or not it’ll reduce surprise billing for the long haul, but it could give consumers more clarity on insurance rates for certain procedures before getting treatment.
2. State-led initiatives
California recently announced it’s taking the plunge to develop its own low-cost insulin as consumer healthcare spending skyrockets.