WASHINGTON – Blue Cross Blue Shield Association Senior Vice President of the Office of Policy and Representation Justine Handelman issued the following statement today in response to Congress’ end of the year and COVID-19 relief legislative package:
“We are pleased Congress has taken a first step toward protecting people from unfair and costly surprise medical bills, and that patients will now be taken out of the middle in these situations – including those involving air ambulances. We remain concerned that a complex arbitration process, which has been ineffective in states that have tried it, holds the potential to raise premiums for everyone. We will monitor arbitration outcomes with an eye toward keeping consumers’ costs down.
As Congress wraps up for the year, we also are heartened to see additional steps aimed at mitigating the COVID-19 crisis, including critical funding for vaccine distribution, testing and tracing. We will continue to work with lawmakers in both parties to protect Americans’ health, keep costs down and create a more equitable health care system for all.”