1 in 6 Hospital, ER Stays Result in Surprise Bills

June 20, 2019 -- About 1 in 6 U.S. hospital stays or emergency room visits result in "surprise" medical bills that can amount to thousands of dollars, a new study finds.

These "out-of-network" charges affect millions of people with what's viewed as solid coverage from large employers, the Associated Press reported.

Rates of such charges vary widely between states, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation study. For example, they occur in 27% of emergency room visits and 38% of in-network hospital stays in Texas, compared with 2% and 3%, respectively, in Minnesota.

Rates were also higher in New York, Florida, New Jersey and Kansas, and lower in South Dakota, Nebraska, Maine and Mississippi, the AP reported.

A Senate panel is scheduled to vote next week on legislation to close the loophole that allows such charges.

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