Save my access to doctors in New Jersey
The current threat
The New Jersey legislature is now considering a bill called the "Out-of-Network Consumer Protection, Transparency, Cost Containment and Accountability Act."
Supporters claim the bill will save the state money and end "surprise bills" for consumers. But in fact, any concern for an actual patient in this bill is conspicuously absent from its 27-pages of text.
Don't be fooled. New Jersey bill A2039/S485 is nothing more than an insurance-industry effort to limit your healthcare choices in exchange for padding their companies' already-bloated bottom lines and adding zeros to the already-egregious salaries of their front-office executives.
If signed into law, this bill will strip many New Jersey hospitals of their critical emergency care specialists by way of price-fixing all emergency doctors' reimbursements to below-market rates.
Skilled and experienced surgeons who currently elect to be "on-call" at New Jersey's local hospitals 24/7, including every weekend and holiday, might no longer be available to take care of our community at large, regardless of insurance status. Such a shift will leave New Jerseyans of all socioeconomic levels vulnerable to delays in medical treatment during life-threatening emergencies.
Will insurance premiums really go down?
Some supporters of this bill have promised lower premiums for consumers. But will that actually happen?
The answer is NO. This case has already been proven in New Jersey's own small business insurance marketplace. In 2017, out-of-network reimbursements for these insurance plans were dropped all the way to Medicare-level rates, yet premiums continued to skyrocket over 10 percent across the board.
In fact, states like California, Illinois, and Maryland among others, have already fallen victim to the insurance lobby's false promises of lower insurance premiums by way of price-fixing physician reimbursements. Yet time after time, consumers in these states have faced continually skyrocketing premiums, unrestrained.
Why is this the case? Because physician salaries represent only a small fraction (approximately 8 percent) of all healthcare spending. Put another way, even if physicians were paid nothing, costs would continue to spiral out of control.
What are the REAL solutions?
Surprise medical bills are a problem, and arise when insurance companies don't live up to their end of the bargain by NOT paying reasonable medical claims, even after their subscribers have already paid their ever-rising premiums and out-of-pocket deductibles.
If you would like to see REAL reform, please join us and sign our petition below. Tell New Jersey politicians and insurance companies to stop trying to take away the healthcare safety net from our local emergency rooms.
Let's instead promote policies like:
- New Jersey Senate Bill 791, which the New Jersey Doctor Patient Alliance supports because it will protect patients against surprise bills while preserving access to doctors.
Pricing transparency on the part of the insurance companies, hospitals, and physicians.
Capping out-of-pocket deductibles to no more than $5,000 total, per family, per year, no matter what insurance plan you choose.
- Allowing sophisticated independent financial audits of all insurers who do business in the state of New Jersey.
Make your voice heard and email your legislator.
I am signing this petition because I want to keep skilled and experienced surgeons available in my local emergency room.