With Covid-19 still out in full force with different variants rampaging around, its getting more difficult to discern between flu, cold, allergies or the dreaded virus. What does this mean for the future of healthcare and being seen by a doctor, physician or emergent care when insurance can be a difficult thing to maneuver?
A new law was passed earlier this year – The No Surprises Act – and it has providers scrambling to make the necessary changes.
Under this new law that was evoked in January 2022, patients that are treated by an out-of-network physician can now only be billed at the in-network rates, protecting the patient from receiving surprise medical bills from places like the ER, air/ambulance or non-emergent services.
Also, patients can no longer receive bills from the provider that are called – balanced bills – or the difference between what a provider charges and what the insurance happened to pay or even be charged a greater cost-sharing amount due to the difference of it all.
The intention of the congressional passing was to help save people thousands of dollars in unanticipated costs. There are still many variants being figured out, for example: when one seeks emergency care, does it end when the patient is stabilized or does it continue and how to properly address how to bill appropriately for. At some hospitals, they are evoking a new level of billing management to handle the changes.
Even with telehealth, the patient will only be charged for the in-network rates. Either way, the bottom line is the Act is promising to do as it was intended and save patients from surprises.