Texas Insurance Commissioner Eleanor Kitzman is drawing fire for removing provisions from a proposed rule designed to provide consumers more transparency regarding out-of-network charges for medical bills.
Curtailing out-of-network medical bills has become a hot trend of late, with actions coming recently in California and New York state in the courts and in the legislature.
This spring Kitzman’s office rewrote a proposed set of rules covering out-of-network payments and according to the Associated Press removed several disclosure requirements. The rules had originally been written by Kitzman’s predecessor before leaving office.
Kitzman maintains that the provisions she removed would confuse consumers more than inform them, and that the provisions that remain provide adequate transparency into out-of-network fees.
The rules will affect some 4 million residents of Texas who are covered by preferred provider organization health plans (PPOs).