Bill to End Surprise Medical Bills Passes House

Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler’s proposal to end the harmful practice of surprise billing passed the House of Representatives on a vote of 84 to 13.

Second Substitute House Bill 1065 (leg.wa.gov) protects consumers from receiving a surprise medical bill when an insurer and provider or facility have failed to reach a contracting agreement. Kreidler has heard from hundreds of consumers who received a surprise or “balance” bill from an out-of-network provider despite seeking treating from an in-network hospital or surgical facility. In many cases, the bills were for thousands of dollars.  

“I’m grateful to Rep. Eileen Cody for her efforts to end this practice and to the other 83 members of the House who voted in such a strong, bipartisan manner,” said Kreidler. “Our bill strikes a good balance and does what everyone agrees should happen – it takes the consumer out of the middle of these billing disputes.”

The bill now goes to the Senate Health and Long Term Care Committee which passed a similar bill out of committee unanimously earlier this session.