Bill

SB 1264

86(R) - 2019
Senate Business & Commerce
Senate Business & Commerce
Healthcare
Health

Contact the Author

Kelly Hancock

Phone:

512-463-0109

Capitol Office:

4E.2

Email:

Vote Recommendation

Neutral
  • Negative
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Positive
  • Neutral

Author(s)

Kelly Hancock

Co-Author(s)

Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa

Bill Caption

Relating to consumer protections against billing and limitations on information reported by consumer reporting agencies.

Fiscal Notes

Estimated Two-year Net Impact to General Revenue Related Funds for SB 1264, Committee Report 1st House, Substituted: a negative impact of ($17,682,459) through the biennium ending August 31, 2021. The bill would make no appropriation but could provide the legal basis for an appropriation of funds to implement the provisions of the bill. The Texas Department of Insurance, Employees Retirement System, Teacher Retirement System, and any other state agency subject to this Act are required to implement a provision of this Act only if the legislature appropriates money specifically for that purpose. If the legislature does not appropriate money specifically for that purpose, the agencies may, but are not required to, implement a provision of this Act using other appropriations available for that purpose. 

Bill Analysis

SB 1264 would amend the Insurance Code in several significant ways. First, it would prohibit all non-network facility-based providers at network hospitals and all non-network emergency care providers from sending surprise balance bills to consumers. Second, it would require all health plan providers to pay reasonable or agreed-upon amounts to out-of-network emergency care and facility-based providers. Third, it would prohibit consumer reporting agencies to release reports relating to a collection account with a medical industry code with an outstanding balance after co-payments, deductibles, and coinsurance, owed to an emergency care provider. Fourth, it would allow providers to dispute payments through the Texas Department Insurance mediation program.

Vote Recommendation Notes

Texas Action remains neutral on SB 1264 due to conflicting principles. Consumer reports serve for more than information for credit corporations. Economic analysts and businesses are in need of reliable and accurate consumer information in order to gauge the risk to the economy and manage declining consumer demand which is often gauged through these reports. While the bill may look to protect consumers in specific situations, the unintended consequences of this bill could harm consumers in a different space.

However, surprise billing is a legitimate concern and the government serves a proper role in protecting consumers from these practices. Therefore, we remain neutral on SB 1264.

Contact the Author

Kelly Hancock

Phone:

512-463-0109

Capitol Office:

4E.2

Email: