Health Insurers Highlight Excessive Out-of-Network Charges

Some California physicians providing out-of-network medical care bill patients at rates far beyond what Medicare allows, a new report from a health insurance trade group shows.The national survey released Friday by America's Health Insurance Plans is part of the industry's effort to show that some medical providers are overcharging consumers and unnecessarily raising healthcare costs. Some critics fault insurers for all too often paying these excessive charges for out-of-network care and then passing along those increased costs in the form of higher premiums for employers and consumers.

In California, the report shows, a pathologist billed $8,100 for a tissue exam in 2011, compared with the Medicare fee of $128.46. Another California doctor billed $30,000 for a gallbladder removal using a laparoscope while the Medicare rate was $778.16, according the industry group.

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Source: Los Angeles Times