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New Yorkers may soon have more health insurance protection

Updated: 01/27/2014 10:10 PM
Created: 01/27/2014 6:52 PM WNYT.com
By: Benita Zahn

New York may be getting closer to providing you with more health insurance protections.

Right now it's tough to know what your premiums real buy and many New Yorkers are getting slammed with unexpected and exorbitant medical bills.

“Tell your insurance company that whatever they would accept as reimbursement I and my team are willing to accept as insurance and payment in full,” said Chad Glazer.

Despite that concession by a specialist, Glazer still had a herculean battle to get his health insurer to approve his son's treatment by that doctor who was out of network. Glazer shared his story at a roundtable discussion organized by Republican Senators Kemp Hannon and Greg Ball.

Glazer told them about the fight 12 years ago when his son was born with a rare liver disorder. Glazer prevailed and won, his son survived.

Senators Hannon and Ball are working for changes to health insurance in line with proposals recently made by Gov. Andrew Cuomo - to insure emergency services are covered no matter where you are when in need, and to prevent surprise bills and excessively high charges, or provide out of network coverage - which would help families like the Glazers.

“They shouldn't call up and find out that on a thousand dollar bill the insurance company is going to pay next to nothing,” says Dr. Andrew Kleinman, President-elect of the Medical Society of the State of New York.

For folks buying health insurance through the New York State of Health and the Affordable Care Act, there is no option to obtain out of network coverage. Finally, make policies easier to understand so you know what is and isn't covered.

“We feel consumers should be able to understand what they're buying,” says Dr. Michael Brisman, a neurosurgeon.

Health Care For All New York - comprised of a 160 consumer groups, supports these changes. It's also pushing for expanded external review. External review is your last chance when your health insurer turns you down, twice, for treatment or a doctor not in plan.

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