HOUSTON — Surprise medical bills can cost patients thousands of dollars, but the Texas State Legislature has taken major steps to eliminate the practice in the Lone Star State.

Surprise billing is simply an unexpected bill a member receives from an out-of-network doctor after receiving services at a facility the patient chose because it is in their health plan's network. In these cases, the patient does not know or cannot control whether some care was provided by a practitioner who is not in the network.

If this has happened to you try calling your doctor or provider that sent the bill and discuss your concerns. Review an itemized bill carefully to make sure it is accurate. Some providers might accept a lower payment. You can also call Texas Department of Insurance Help Line at 1-800-252-3439 to discuss your options. TDI can help with mediation and complaints.

For more information on balance billing and other important healthcare issues go to StandingwithTexas.com.

This content is sponsored by: Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas