Fixing Surprise Billing Could Save Billions in Premiums

A study published Sept. 11 in the American Journal of Managed Care found that a federal law to rein in surprise medical billing could reduce overall health insurance premiums by 1% to 5%. The study, which was prepared by researchers at the USC-Brookings Schaeffer Initiative for Health Policy, was lauded by health insurance experts for looking at surprise billing’s impact on the insurance system at large, an area that they say has not been studied extensively.

The study is based on 2017 data compiled by the Health Care Cost Institute, which is drawn from claims submitted to UnitedHealthcare, Humana Inc. and CVS Health Corp.’s Aetna. The data is compiled from 568.5 million claims submitted by 44.8 million covered lives.

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Peter Johnson

Peter Johnson

Peter has worked as a journalist since 2011 and has covered health care since 2020. At AIS Health, Peter covers trends in finance, business and policy that affect the health insurance and pharma sectors. For Health Plan Weekly, he covers all aspects of the U.S. health insurance sector, including employer-sponsored insurance, Medicaid managed care, Medicare Advantage and the Affordable Care Act individual marketplaces. In Radar on Drug Benefits, Peter covers the operations of (and conflicts between) pharmacy benefit managers and pharmaceutical manufacturers, with a particular focus on pricing dynamics and market access. Before joining AIS Health, Peter covered transportation, public safety and local government for various outlets in Seattle, his hometown and current place of residence. He graduated with a B.A. from Colby College.

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