Meet My Guest for the State of the Union: Donna Beckman’s Five Minute Doctor Visit Led to a $1,648 Surprise Medical Bill

When President Trump delivers his State of the Union address on Tuesday evening, I’ll have a special guest in the room: Donna Beckman of Seabrook.

Donna, like far too many Americans, received a surprise medical bill for care that she thought was in her insurance network.

After visiting an emergency room that was in her insurance network, she was later told that a doctor she saw — for about 5 minutes — was actually out-of-network. The cost for this visit? $1,648.

And Donna is not alone. People across the country are facing massive, unexpected medical bills for care they didn’t realize was considered out-of-network.

This practice is outrageous and it must be stopped.

I’ve introduced legislation to protect patients with medical emergencies from surprise billing by prohibiting hospitals and providers from charging more than the in-network amount. It also protects patients in non-emergency situations from surprise bills by requiring hospitals and providers to notify patients if services will be out-of-network and get their consent.

If the health care provider and insurance plans can’t agree on the price for the service, my bill sets up an independent process to resolve the payment dispute so that patients aren’t stuck in the middle.

I thank Donna for sharing her story and helping bring attention to this issue that is burdening far too many people in New Hampshire and across the country.

Members of both parties — including President Trump — have expressed a desire to address this issue, and I’m optimistic that we can make progress to end this absurd practice in the year ahead.

I look forward to having Donna as my guest at the State of the Union and helping draw attention to this issue. I won’t stop fighting to end these ridiculous surprise medical bills.