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Georgia Lawmakers Look to Tackle Surprise Medical Bills

Georgia Health News

Legislation that would protect some patients in Georgia from surprise medical bills that can run to tens of thousands of dollars is gaining momentum at the state Capitol.

A Georgia Senate committee approved a bill Wednesday that would require insurers in many cases to pay for care by a doctor or at a hospital that is not within their network of medical providers. It would also limit patient liability for those charges. About half the states in the U.S. have approved laws that regulate surprise billing.

District 118 Representative Spencer Frye addressed the issue in an earlier interview with WUGA.

“It’s a good thing when the government starts talking about how much the insurance industry are gouging, not only the state health benefit programs, but also the individual insured,” According to Frye. “And we need to look at our insurance industry as a state to kind of reign in what’s been going on over the past few years.”

Frye serves on two different health care committees in the Georgia General Assembly. Health and Human Services and Special Committee on Access to Quality Health Care.

“You know we have a good health care system in the state and in the nation and we have a great one in Athens. The problem is the way it’s administered in the insurance companies.”

But states don’t regulate most large employer plans, so federal action is needed to protect all patients.