More people are being illegally billed for charges not paid by Medi-Cal

Advocates said there has been an increase over the last year in healthcare providers engaging in the practice of billing people with Medi-Cal for charges not covered by their insurance -- commonly referred to as balance billing.

News Story (California)

Lisa Zamosky
Los Angeles Times (LA Times)
September 18, 2015

Tags: Health Care

Organizations mentioned/involved: Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County (NLSLA), Justice in Aging


“We get a significant number of people with Medi-Cal being impermissibly balance billed,” said Stephanie Lee, supervising attorney at the Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County’s health consumer center, which offers free legal advice.

Balance billing is particularly prevalent among a vulnerable subset of Medi-Cal recipients — those who also qualify for Medicare, the federal health program for seniors and disabled people. Folks who qualify for both are referred to as dual eligibles.

A recent report by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services revealed a nationwide trend of healthcare providers illegally billing these individuals for charges not covered by either type of insurance.