New Jersey insurance regulators prepare to tackle a loophole in the state’s insurance system

Medical CostNew Jersey insurance companies have filed a complaint against a North Jersey hospital that is billing them excessively for medical procedures that are not inherently expensive. According to insurers, the claims coming from the Meadowlands Hospital Medical Center in Secaucus, New Jersey, are 3,000% higher than the claims coming from other, similar medical centers. Governor Chris Christie is expected to take up the issue and target the medical center as part of his campaign against rising insurance prices.

The problem seems to stem from auto accidents. The Meadowlands Hospital Medical Center receives a steady flow of patients that have been injured in an auto accident of some kind and the hospital’s owners have been directing these patients to exploit a loophole in the state’s insurance system. State law limits what doctors can charge for same-day surgical procedures, but there is no limit on the cost of outpatient care. To take advantage of this, some patients are made to wait to receive care.

The state’s Department of Banking and Insurance is expected to tackle the issue with a new series of legislations aimed at renovating the state’s auto insurance rules. Some laws that close the troublesome loophole have already been introduced to the Legislature, but not have yet garnered the support needed to manifest. Insurers and medical professionals are stressing the importance of balance in new legislations, each side hoping for protections against unscrupulous activities.

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