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Austin’s KUT Highlights CQC Research

Austin's NPR, KUT 90.5, highlighted Consumers For Quality Care's latest research:

"There’s an uptick in health insurance companies not covering emergency room care, according a consumer advocacy group.

Washington, D.C.-based Consumers for Quality Care said the increase is the result of the Trump administration pushing less regulated health care plans in its effort to undo protections created by the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

Milton Rodriguez, who lives in Austin, is trying to find out why his insurance company hasn't paid a recent ER bill.

Rodriguez, who does auditing for a company based in California, said health insurance through his job was 'completely outrageous.'

'It was going to be like $500 per paycheck – meaning every two weeks,' he said. 'It was going to be almost $1,000 a month.'

Rodriguez didn’t have health insurance for about five years, so he decided to buy it on his own. Every once in a while, he would shop for health insurance, but he couldn’t find anything in his price range with decent coverage. Plus, he had been healthy, so it didn’t feel urgent.

A few weeks ago, though, he started to feel a sharp pain.

'It was really extreme pain that had lasted, by that point, three days,' he said. 'It literally feels like somebody is just constantly hitting you in the lower abdominal area.'

If there was ever a time Rodriguez needed health insurance, this was that time. He called an insurance broker who had reached out to him when he was shopping around for a plan.

'I called at night and just needed something that would cover me right away,' Rodriguez said.

The broker sent a policy, which Rodriguez approved. He then sent a payment to the insurance company.

The broker told him he'd be covered starting at 12 a.m.

As soon coverage kicked in, Rodriguez went to the closest hospital, St. David’s in South Austin. It turned out he had appendicitis. While he was waiting for a bed in the ER, hospital staff took his insurance information. He had surgery and was sent home to recover.

Rodriguez started getting phone calls from doctors and the hospital asking about his insurance plan."

Read the full article here.


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