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No Surprise Act bans surprise medical expenses
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Money

New law protects you from surprise medical bills after an emergency

You can’t escape medical expenses. Whether you are on regular medication or treatment, have an annual checkup or experience an unplanned visit to the doctor, the bills will follow.

You could be on prescription medication to treat a temporary ailment or a lifetime plan. Either way, you could be facing some hefty costs. Fortunately, there’s a way to save up to 80% on your prescriptions. Tap or click here to learn how.

An unexpected visit to the doctor or emergency room can be more than an unpleasant or painful experience. You can be hit with astronomical surprise bills that add to your hardship. That will change soon, thanks to the No Surprises Act.

Getting caught off guard

Let’s say you need to see the doctor right away. You go to the hospital and get treated. You won’t always have time to pick and choose a doctor in your network, especially in an emergency. You get treated by an out-of-network healthcare worker. Now you may find yourself owing much more than expected.

You may see these surprise bills from unexpected sources, like radiologists, anesthesiologists, labs and technicians. Healthcare providers and hospitals have been known to charge more for treatment simply because patients were out of network.

No more surprises

The No Surprises Act seeks to protect patients from surprise medical bills resulting from out-of-network care and went into effect on Jan. 1, 2022. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services breaks down the lengthy act, which has two purposes:

  • A hospital or emergency department can not bill or hold the patient liable for more than the cost they would pay for in-network care.
  • Under this act, private health plans must cover out-of-network claims and apply in-network cost-sharing.

While this covers air ambulance services, it does not cover ground ambulance services. So you could still see high ambulance bills if you use one.

This boils down to that you’ll pay the same amount for your out-of-network care that you would for seeing a doctor and/or going to a hospital that is in-network for your insurance plan. Note: Your deductible will still apply if you have one.

This is a new law, and if you have any questions or concerns, you can reach the No Surprises Help Desk at 1-800-985-3059.

You can submit a complaint to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services at cms.gov/nosurprises/consumers/complaints-about-medical-billing. The organization can review and investigate your claim and help you understand what you need to do.

🚨 What it means for you

Even when you have good insurance, healthcare can feel like a minefield of paperwork, rules and red tape. Laws like the No Surprises Act, at least, can make a difference in protecting patients from overblown bills.

✅ Laws like this exist to help you. If you need help, call the No Surprises Help Desk at 1-800-985-3059. If you have a billing issue, go to the site above to submit a complaint.

✅ As with any major change to healthcare laws, be on the lookout for scammers looking to take advantage. Government agencies won’t text or email you, and it’s unlikely you’ll receive a phone call. You will never be asked for personal information like your Social Security number or Medicare number over the phone.

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