The last thing you want to think about when you have a medical emergency is a huge bill. In the United States, medical emergencies tend to come with a mountain of debt for out-of-network services. Fortunately, that is changing.
On January 1, 2022, our current administration passed the No Surprises Act. Now, if you have a medical emergency you cannot be charged out-of-network prices. Say, for example, that you are in a car accident. The ambulance is going to take you to the nearest hospital. If that hospital is not a part of your insurance network, the hospital cannot bill you for out-of-network services.
How does the No Surprises Act work?
The No Surprises Act puts an end to surprise medical bills by covering the following services:
- Life flights/Air ambulance services
- Out-of-network hospitals
- Free-standing emergency facilities
- Urgent care centers
The No Surprises Act does not cover the cost of ground ambulance transportation or your pre-determined deductibles. If you do not have insurance, it’s important to get a good faith estimate for the cost of services. This includes the estimated cost for:
- Pre/post-operation services
- Lab services
- Telehealth services
- Durable medical equipment (crutches, walkers, etc.)
Get a copy of the good faith estimate in writing. Should you receive a bill that’s much higher than the estimated costs, you have proof to present to your insurance company.
The No Surprises Act is definitely a step in the right direction when it comes to medical bills. The only problem is that it doesn’t help reduce the huge amount of medical debt that many Americans are already handling. If you find yourself buried under a pile of insurmountable medical debt, seek out experienced legal guidance to determine if it is time to file for bankruptcy.