Lawmaker proposes legislation to protect healthcare consumers

By Chris McGill - bio | email

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Kentucky House Speaker Pro Tem Larry Clark was in Louisville on Thursday to introduce his new legislation to protect healthcare customers who find themselves caught in the crossfire of disputes between insurers and hospitals, as happened recently between Anthem and Norton Healthcare.

House Speaker Clark (D-Okolona) recently pre-filed BR213 in early September in response to the dispute between Norton Healthcare and Anthem, Inc. which put close to 300,000 healthcare customers at risk of losing coverage of some medical services. Clark says that continuation of care is the most important part of his legislation.

"That ensures the consumer of healthcare if the insurance company providers have a dispute they'll have their continuation of healthcare," Clark said. "That's the whole reason we filed the bill, continuation of care."

The bill also calls for several other changes, including a minimum of a 3-year contract between managed care plans and hospitals and six months notice prior to any termination or non-renewal.

The legislation will be formally introduced when the new session begins in January. Clark says he doesn't anticipate much opposition and hopes the bill will pass into law sometime in 2010.

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