Surprise Medical Bills Are Coming to an End

With the No Surprises Act taking effect in 2022, patients will no longer live in fear of receiving an unexpected and exorbitant medical bill for emergency care and other ancillary services.

A doctor discussing a document with a patient.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Starting next year, out-of-network health care providers can no longer ambush patients with an unexpected, exorbitant bill. Instead, doctors will need a patient’s consent first to charge an out-of-network rate. “People generally thought surprise medical bills were unfair. There is an element of being blindsided,” says Daniel Klein, president and CEO of the advocacy group Patient Access Network Foundation. The reform could lower health insurance premiums, too.

The No Surprises Act, which Congress passed late last year, prohibits providers from charging patients out-of-network rates for emergency care and ancillary services, such as anesthesiology, delivered during scheduled procedures at in-network facilities.

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Senior Retirement Editor, Kiplinger.com

Jackie Stewart is the senior retirement editor for Kiplinger.com and the senior editor for Kiplinger's Retirement Report.