A new law will go into effect on Jan. 1 that is intended to help cut the cost of medical treatments.
It’s called the “No Surprises Act” and was passed originally in President Donald Trump’s administration and adjusted in President Joe Biden’s administration, The New York Times reported.
It was developed to prevent surprise billing, or balance billing, when a person gets treated by an out-of-network medical provider when they’re at an in-network hospital or facility and they don’t have a chance to choose who sees them, CNBC reported.
Kaiser Family Foundation said about 1 in 5 emergency room visits will have surprise bills when an out-of-network doctor is called in at an in-network hospital — an anesthesiologist or a radiologist, for example.
The professionals may even have offices in the same building but are not part of the insurance network which can cause confusion. Patients also aren’t able to have a choice on who gives you care, CNBC reported.
But starting on Jan. 1, patients who are given emergency care at an emergency room, see anyone at an in-network facility or need to be transported by an air ambulance (either plane or helicopter), should not get additional bills. The cost of the treatment will be at in-network rates.
However hospitals are still trying to figure out how to implement the new law and how out-of-network providers will get paid, the Times reported.
Keep in mind the act only applies to emergency services, not non-emergency services, CNBC reported.
It also doesn’t cover traditional ambulance transportation.
Patients will still be responsible for deductibles and co-payments, the Times reported.