surprise medical bills

Surprise billing proposals don't address ambulances

An ambulance on the road
Photo: Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

None of Congress' proposals to rein in surprise medical bills address ambulances — which are expensive and often aren't covered by insurance.

Why it matters: More than half of ambulance rides, and two-thirds of air ambulance transports, aren't covered by private insurance. Patients are often billed more than $10,000 for what insurance won't cover.

Seniors face a different kind of surprise medical bill

Hundreds of thousands of seniors may be about to get a bill for up to five months' premiums, which they didn't realize weren't paid, due to a Social Security Administration mistake, Kaiser Health News reports.

What's happening: The SSA made an error and didn't deduct the premiums from seniors' Social Security checks, and didn't pay seniors' insurance plans. About 250,000 seniors with private plans are affected. Some will be required to pay, while others may receive cancellation notices.

Go deeper: Seniors are the health care industry's gold rush