Governor Signs Bill Providing EMS Direct Pay, CHIP Reauthorization

Governor Wolf recently signed into law a bill that provides for direct payments from insurance companies to emergency medical service organizations for their services and reauthorizes the state’s medical insurance program for children, according to Senator Don White.

Those initiatives were both among the top priorities for the Senate Banking & Insurance Committee, according to Senator White, who serves as the committee’s Chairman.

House Bill 875, which was signed into law as Act 84 of 2015 on December 20, requires insurers to reimburse an EMS agency that has been dispatched by a 911 center regardless of whether the EMS agency is part of the insurer’s network.

“Previously, in cases involving out-of-network EMS organizations, insurance companies will send payment for claims to the policy holder, who may or may not subsequently pay the billing company for the medical transport,” Senator White said. “This new law ends that practice and ensures that EMS companies are properly compensated for the valuable services they provide.”

The new law also reauthorizes and extends the life of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) through December 31, 2017 and moves the administration of the program from the Department of Insurance to the Department of Human Services. The program was set to expire on December 31, 2015.

Act 84 also includes language clarifying liability issues in cases involving auto dealership loaner vehicles, which Senator White introduced as Senate Bill 861.

Contact:          Joe Pittman                 jpittman@pasen.gov