If you are or know a State of Texas employee, you should know about a new Texas Senate budget rider that would limit your options for care in the event of a medical emergency.
On Wednesday, March 15, 2017, the Senate Finance Committee voted to add a rider to Senate Bill 1, the Senate budget bill, which directs the Employee Retirement System (ERS) to “disincentivize member utilization of freestanding emergency rooms.” The rider would effectively shift a larger portion of costs for emergency care rendered at a freestanding emergency room to the enrollees of the ERS plan, including higher co-payments and deductibles, regardless of the facility’s network status.
This anti-competitive measure will have a direct, negative impact on patient health for all enrollees of the ERS plan. It’s difficult to fathom how they could decide that death benefits are cheaper than emergency services. TAFEC will most certainly challenge this illegal rider, and fight to preserve access to emergency care for Texans. – Brad Shields, TAFEC Executive Director
Not only is this rider anti-competitive and illegal, it endangers the lives of thousands of state employees across Texas by limiting their options for care in the event of a medical emergency. Please urge the Senate Finance Committee to reconsider this rider that ultimately hurts patients. Request that the committee seek cost containment through alternative measures that would not violate federal and state law or jeopardize the health of thousands of Texans throughout the state. Demand fair access to emergency care because your life matters! Oppose harmful SB1 rider today!