Created: 02/27/2014 2:27 PM WHEC.com
In an effort to protect consumers from big surprise medical bills, the Cuomo administration has proposed extending out-of-network coverage requirements for emergencies and specialists to all health insurers in New York.
According to the state Department of Financial Services, the requirements currently apply to health maintenance organizations and 16 insurance plans in New York's new health exchange.
Legislation Gov. Andrew Cuomo has proposed for the fiscal year starting April 1 would apply those consumer protections to non-HMOs, which provide most health coverage in New York.
It would also help protect patients from big surprise medical bills from out-of-network doctors by requiring clear advance disclosures about who's actually in their insurance networks.
Disputes would go to arbitration between doctors and insurance companies, leaving the patients out.