Balance Billing

A helicopter pad at Ascension Seton Medical Center
Julia Reihs / KUT

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas has agreed to repay consumers after state regulators found the health insurance company was mishandling out-of-network emergency claims and providing incorrect information.

One point drew clear agreement Tuesday during a House subcommittee hearing: When it comes to the problem of surprise medical bills, the solution must protect patients — not demand that they be great negotiators.

Spencer Selvidge for KUT

A bipartisan group of lawmakers announced plans to address surprise medical bills in way that would take the "burden" off Texans.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Consumer advocates and health insurers are pushing Texas lawmakers to address surprise medical bills during this year’s legislative session.

President Trump instructed administration officials Wednesday to investigate how to prevent surprise medical bills, broadening his focus on drug prices to include other issues of price transparency in health care.

Flanked by patients and other guests invited to the White House to share their stories of unexpected and outrageous bills, Trump directed his health secretary, Alex Azar, and labor secretary, Alex Acosta, to work on a solution, several attendees said.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

A growing number of Texans are turning to a little-known state mediation program to deal with surprise hospital bills. However, the program is likely only addressing a fraction of the surprise medical bills Texans receive in the mail every year.