Every year, families who thought that they had “good” insurance coverage are suddenly confronted with medical bills they weren’t expecting. This “surprise medical billing” happens when your insurance company will not pay for treatments or exams that are part of your health insurance network. Big insurance companies say that they’ll fix surprise medical billing, but they don’t have the best interests of citizens in mind. Insurers can’t be allowed to endanger more families. We must end surprise medical billing by supporting Independent Dispute Resolution, or IDR.

IDR is the perfect middle ground between doctors, patients and insurers. It prevents patients from being sent surprise bills, and it puts an independent mediator between providers and insurers. Through the mediator, doctors and insurance companies would be able to settle any disputes over bills. No longer would people seeking treatment have to worry about unexpected medical bills. IDR gives patients peace of mind.

IDR is also the best solution for health care providers. I urge Sen. Collins to support this thoughtful and reasonable approach. There would be no “rate setting” that would allow insurers to set their own rates for reimbursement. Naturally, these large insurance companies would set low rates of reimbursement, which would have a disastrous effect on the health care business, especially in rural area like mine. Many hospitals would not be able to fund their operating costs, and health care would cease being a free market. IDR ensures that the competitive integrity of the market remains unharmed.

It pains me to see Maine families suffering over circumstances that are beyond their control. I also recognize that excessive regulation is not the answer to surprise medical billing. Independent Dispute Resolution is the best solution for helping medical patients and protecting the free market. I urge you to pledge your support.

Rep. Dennis L. Keschl

Belgrade


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