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Letter: ND HB 1465 would eliminate out-of-network health care charges

If HB 1465 becomes law, it would allow patients of major health care system-sponsored insurance plans to see competing doctors without penalty.

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The state Senate has an opportunity to provide true “patient choice” to determine the best health care option and treatment for them through House Bill 1465. Sometimes patients want to receive care from a physician or health care provider who is not in their insurance network. HB 1465 would allow patients to choose the best care for them, without jeopardizing the benefits of a health care network.

HB 1465 enables any North Dakotan/patient to visit their chosen provider without paying more, and virtually eliminates out-of-network personal medical fees and will help control out-of-pocket costs and co-pays while improving medical outcomes. There is no credible research or empirical support for opponent claims that costs will go up. And with out-of-pocket fees reduced or eliminated, patients will themselves spend less.

Many patients are forced to use providers in insurance company networks, and some are required to undergo unnecessary travel at their own expense just to stay in-network. HB 1465 will allow families to see doctors and other medical providers they know and trust. This will cut unnecessary re-testing by providers and reduces the probability of diagnostic prescription errors.

If HB 1465 becomes law, it would allow patients of major health care system-sponsored insurance plans to see competing doctors without penalty. Many patients are forced to use providers in insurance company networks or pay extra, and some are even required to undergo unnecessary travel at their own expense.

In a state where many patients are forced to travel long distances to use in-network providers it will give them the chance to use a local provider with the same specialties. North Dakotans will no longer need to change doctors due to a change in employment and insurance plans.

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The patient has freedom of choice, and still allows insurers to maintain preferred provider networks and makes North Dakota a strong patient-centric state.

Take a minute to tell your state senator House Bill 1465 is good for patients and good for North Dakota.

Dr. S. Jared Broadway is a neurosurgeon practicing in Fargo.

This letter does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Forum's editorial board nor Forum ownership.

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