Washington passed a law to end the practice of surprise billing, when a patient receives a bill for an out-of-network charge unexpectedly, according to NBC affiliate KGW8.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill to end surprise medical billing May 21. The law, which takes effect January 2020, prohibits insurers from billing patients seeking emergency care in an out-of-network emergency room and from billing patients for a non-emergency procedure at an in-network hospital. Insurers also can't balance bill patients seeking emergency care in an out-of-network facility in a state that borders Washington.
The Washington law also stipulates that insurers pay out-of-network providers and facilities for the care their enrollees receive.