Effective July 1, 2017, Assembly Bill 72 (Bonta) went into effect by protecting Californians from unexpected medical bills when visiting in-network facilities (i.e., hospitals, labs, and imaging centers). No longer can providers who aren’t contracted with a patient’s health plan step into the operating room, for instance, and charge the patient more than the patient would have expected to pay an in-network provider. Furthermore, the patient can only be billed for his or her in-network cost-share, meaning in-network benefits apply to all providers seen, and services rendered, in an in-network facility.
It may be of interest, if not importance, for all Californians to know about current proposed legislation, sponsored by Senator Ricardo Lara of Bell Gardens and Senator Toni Atkins of San Diego. The proposed bill would significantly expand the role of the state government within the healthcare system, by essentially establishing a single-payer system.