The “No Surprises Act” is new legislation that protects patients against surprise medical bills when they receive out-of-network services during an emergency visit or from a provider at an in-network hospital without advance notice. It will take effect on January 1st, 2022.
Additionally, the NSA allows healthcare providers and insurers to negotiate reimbursement separately while insulating the patient from that process. It also includes a provision for an independent dispute resolution process if necessary.
Providers will now need to find out patient’s insurance status before submitting the surprise out-of-network bill directly to the health plan. However, patients can give written consent to waive their rights under the No Surprise Act and be billed more by out-of-network providers. It is expected this should only happen in limited circumstances.
If a patient receives what they believe is a surprise bill, the new brief highlights protections and ways to seek help. This is a complex law, with enforcement being conducted in various ways, both by federal and state agencies.
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