By Consumers for Quality Care, on July 20, 2022
At the start of 2021, the No Surprises Act, which aims to prevent health care providers from sending surprise bills to consumers with private insurance, went into effect. Consumers now have more tools available to fight or lower these unexpected bills to a manageable amount, and The New York Timeshas several tips on how to do so.
First, consumers should determine whether or not the bill is covered by the No Surprises Act. If it is, the bill should be disputed. Consumers can submit billing disputes either through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), or in some states, with their consumer assistance program. Consumers have also had luck contacting billing departments directly.
Even if a bill is legitimate, consumers can still fight it. While some surprise medical bills—like bills for ground ambulance services—aren’t covered by the No Surprises Act, consumers can ask the medical provider for an itemized bill and can check whether the billing codes the provider used accurately described the care they received.
Fighting bills can be a burdensome process, but for consumers who have the time and resources, disputing unfair medical bills is important. “It does take a certain amount of time, and it can take some hassle,” said Marshall Allen of the Allen Health Academy. “And you have to be persistent.”
Consumers should be vigilant when they are charged unexpected amounts for medical services and use the No Surprise Act to their advantage to dispute such charges. Additionally, lawmakers and regulators should continue to monitor the implementation of the law.