Arizona consumers could get some limited relief from surprise medical bills that exceed $1,000 under legislation approved by the state Legislature.
Senate Bill 1441, sponsored by Sen. Debbie Lesko, R- Peoria, passed a contentious House committee hearing last week before sailing through the Senate. Gov. Doug Ducey signed the bill into law Monday.
The measure seeks to limit the financial exposure of consumers who get care from a hospital or doctor that are part of their insurance provider's network — only to be billed by an out-of-network anesthesiologist, emergency-medicine doctor, surgical assistant or others who were part of the chain of care.
Consumers have been left with expensive medical bills, stuck between an insurance company that doesn't want to fully pay and a medical provider refusing to take less. In some cases, medical providers send unpaid bills to medical debt collectors, who can chip away at a consumer's credit score.