If you’ve ever had a serious illness or cared for someone who has, you know how quickly the medical bills can pile up: from labs, radiology clinics, pharmacies, doctors, different departments within the same hospital — some of them in your insurance network, others not.
It can be extremely confusing, no matter how clever you are, to determine which bills you need to pay. If you’re sick, or have technological, cultural or language barriers — not to mention financial difficulties — navigating this maze can be especially intimidating.
A law signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom last month may help you sort through a tangle of medical bills to figure out what your health plan will cover and when the coverage kicks in.
The law, SB 368, requires most state-regulated private-sector health plans to send enrollees updates, for every month in which they received care, showing how much they have paid toward their annual deductible — the amount a person must shell out before insurance begins to cover most of their care — and how close they are to reaching out-of-pocket limits, the amount after which the insurer pays for 100% of care.