A growing number of Texans are turning to a little-known state mediation program to deal with surprise hospital bills. However, the program is likely only addressing a fraction of the surprise medical bills Texans receive in the mail every year.
The Texas Department of Insurance program is meant to intervene when Texans are stuck with a bill after their insurance provider and hospital can’t agree on a fair price for services – usually after an emergency. The practice is known as balance billing. The state only intervenes, though, after patients file a complaint with the agency.