For some Texans, surprise medical bills are a thing of the past. This type of patient protection takes a village. But Texas State Sen. Kelly Hancock played an extra big role. This made him an ideal recipient for the 2019 Justin F. Kimball Patient Protection Award.
The award recognizes people with the same spirit and dedication to their community’s health as Kimball, who developed the idea of “group hospitalization” that eventually became the national system of Blue Cross and Blue Shield insurance plans recognizable today. Learn more about the award in this video.
We do these awards at Blue Cross to honor two things. One is the legacy of Justin Ford Kimball who helped to start Blue Cross over 90 years ago, right here in Dallas, Texas. He was a stalwart for standing up to offering opportunities for people to have access to affordable health insurance. We like to take that memory forward and recognize individuals in our state that are doing something extraordinary to help improve the lives of millions of Texans. This year we had the ability to honor Senator Kelly Hancock, Chairman of the Business and Commerce Committee, one of the most powerful senators in the Texas Senate. But he took the leadership and led the charge in passing Senate Bill 1264, which helps to ban balance billing – and end that surprise, that bad surprise, that millions of patients get when they get an out-of-network bill. That ban on balance billing will save Texans millions of dollars and offer them the best opportunity to have affordable health insurance going forward. Our focus really was - and it sounds, sounds political and it really wasn't - our focus is just on the consumers. To try to take care of those that don't have, they don't have a government affairs team. We are their government affairs team. They don't have a lobby. They don't have anybody paying people to look out for their best interests. They just elect people to do that. But the reality is, is that this was a whole group of people coming together to solve an issue that plagued health care for way too long, and now we're going to do away with it in the State of Texas.
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