Delaware Vote Tracker

HB39 – Ending Surprise Medical Bills

Representative Dave Bentz and Senator Sarah McBride are teaming up to sponsor House Bill 39, which would protect patients from surprise medical bills when they receive health care treatment from an out-of-network provider at an in-network facility.

This bill requires insurance companies to cover out-of-network procedures, like blood or urine testing or anesthesia, if the patient is being seen in an in-network facility or the labs are ordered by an in-network doctor, but the medical professional performing the procedure/lab work is out-of-network. Patients are then charged out-of-network costs, though no fault of their own. Indeed, the patient did what the insurance company immorally required: seek treatment at an in network facility. So why should the insurance company then be allowed to punish the patient with out of network costs? The answer is they should not.

House Bill 39 SponsorsYes VotesNo Votes
Bentz Baumbach Bush Carson Dorsey Walker Griffith Heffernan K.Johnson Kowalko Minor-Brown Mitchell Morrison Osienski K.Williams Wilson-Anton D.Short, M.Smith, Spiegelman
S.McBride Townsend Brown, Ennis, Hansen, Paradee, Pinkney Poore, Sokola, Sturgeon, Pettyjohn
Current Status: House Health & Human Development 12/18/20

I am surprised this bill has not already been moved through committee by now, having been introduced back in December. Indeed, the bill has bipartisan sponsorship, so it should easily pass both Houses. One reason for the delay might be that Congress has included similar protections in a recent COVID stimulus bill that has passed. But, it appears that the surprise billing language is much more favorable to the insurance companies than simply banning the practice altogether like House Bill 39 does. So press forward, legislators!

Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

1 comment on “HB39 – Ending Surprise Medical Bills

  1. Allen Bernstein

    This is a more than reasonable bill.

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