Have you ever gotten a medical bill or statement that surprised you? Maybe you thought the doctor visit was covered by your insurance or were quoted a much smaller amount. Starting January 1, 2021 Americans will now be protected from unexpected medical bills thanks to a new law going into effect. The No Surprises Act will help to drastically cut down the amount of unexpected or inaccurate medical bills and balances.
Medical Bill Stats and Controversy
One in five emergency bills result in out-of-pocket costs. Many modern Americans carry insurance plans so how does this shocking statistic happen? One example is those who are experiencing a medical emergency may be transported to a facility that is not in their network plan without their knowledge causing out of pocket charges for the individual. Other instances can be as simple as medical billing being mistaken or misquoted on the bill however. The alarming number of mistaken or inaccurate medical bills in the country has finally caught the attention of legislation though. The new law will likely be taken further for the protection of those who may be at risk of afflicting charges as well.
What Comes with the New Act
Current insurance mandates allow insurers to offer zero or only partial out of network coverage, meaning many Americans can be stuck with an astronomical bill and empty pockets. Even shadier insurers have begun to require full and upfront out of pocket payment on any non emergency service(s). These charges can stack up quickly as individuals may have no other choice when medical attention is needed.
Better HealthCare in the Future
Beginning in 2022, there should be far fewer occurrences of patients being billed immorally in hopes to improve our healthcare for the country. Additional benefits written into the law will shield the insured as well. One of these bylines being if your doctor will be moving out of your network, your insurer will be required to allow you or the patient 90 days to wrap up and find a new healthcare provider within the network. Although unjust practices such as “balance billing” are already banned under Medicaid and Medicare, there is still much work to do to protect folks from falling prey to unfair medical billing. If you do happen to receive bills saying that you owe “x” amount, it should be a big red flag to you and your wallet. Double check any due balances with your doctor and insurance provider before making a payment. It is crucial for patients to speak up and monitor these charges vigilantly to keep themselves and their finances healthy.