A few thousand dollars in medical expenses can drive many people to seek credit debt help. A survey shows that over 57% of Americans with debt owe at least $1,000 driven by diagnostic tests, emergency room visits, and hospitalizations. For this reason, most people worry about unexpected medical bills more than other expenses.
Group health plans or health insurance providers don’t usually cover the total cost of out-of-network medical care. If state law permits, the out-of-network health care provider bills them for the difference between the amount paid by their health plan or insurance and the billed charge. As a result, countless insured consumers face surprise medical bills when they inadvertently get care from out-of-network doctors, hospitals, or other providers they didn’t choose.
The Consequences of Medical Debt
Individuals and families who have difficulty paying these surprise bills suffer the long-term effects of medical debt, including tarnished credit, personal bankruptcies, and home foreclosures. On top of these economic issues, many patients struggle with health-related consequences. These patients deliberately delay medically necessary treatment and prevention to avoid facing exorbitant out-of-pocket medical expenses.
The No Surprises Act
Patients shouldn’t be hit with crushing unexpected medical bills for out-of-network treatment that was beyond their control. To protect those who obtain medical services and products from the devastating effects of surprise medical bills, the No Surprises Act was implemented on January 1, 2022.
This rule puts an end to the practice of charging patients larger-than-expected bills for unexpected, out-of-network medical care. Under the No Surprises Act, patients are only responsible for the costs they would’ve paid toward their bill for in-network care. They won’t have to be stuck in the middle while health plans and health care providers sort out the out-of-network costs between themselves.
Patients will no longer deal with surprise bills for emergency care. They can have the peace of mind to know that they’d still be protected if they’re taken to an out-of-network ER or treated at an in-network ER by a medical provider who isn’t covered by their insurance.
The No Surprises Act forbids out-of-network providers from charging patients with tens of thousands of dollars in crushing surprise bills for scheduled medical care. However, patients may be billed for scheduled medical care if they’re given notice of their network status and an estimate of charges 72 hours before receiving out-of-network services.
If the patient’s network changes and the patient’s medical treatments are complex, this law protects them against surprise medical bills by giving them a transition period.
Vulnerable patients are protected from out-of-pocket surprise medical expenditures when they require urgent medical transport. Moreover, they’ll only be required to pay the in-network cost-share amounts and deductibles for out-of-network air ambulances.
Do You Need Credit Debt Help?
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