For non-emergency treatment in California: Can hospital/surgery center deny service/treatment because of lack of co-payment when a client has insurance? In other words, can a provider refuse to render service until the copay is paid upfront?

I would expect the provision to be in the California Know-Keene Act, but I am having trouble finding it.

Example: imagine you go to the doctor for treatment. Treatment will be $4,000. It is not-emergency treatment. You have insurance and have to pay a portion through the copay. You ask to be billed after the treatment, but the doctor says they want upfront payment of the copay. Is that legal? Can the doctor require upfront copay payment for insured patients in non-emergency contexts?

  • 2
    In other words, can a service provider refuse to provide services to someone who hasn't paid? In most states, I think we could guess the answer, but the fact that this is California definitely means this is an open question.
    – bdb484
    Mar 29, 2023 at 17:29


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