No Surprises Act
In compliance with the No Surprises Act that went into effect January 1, 2022, healthcare providers are required to notify clients of their Federal rights and protections against “surprise billing.” This Act is designed to protect patients from surprise bills for emergency services at out-of-network facilities or for out-of-network providers at in-network facilities, holding them liable only for in-network cost-sharing amounts. The No Surprises Act also enables uninsured patients to receive a Good Faith Estimate of the cost of care. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) created an informational bulletin that summarizes the No Surprises Act and Good Faith Estimate, which you can access by clicking HERE.
Printable Copy of No Surprises Act Notice
Please click HERE to open a PDF version of my No Surprises Act Notice that you can print or download for your records.
Your Rights and Protections Against Surprise Medical Bills
When you get emergency care or get treated by an out-of-network provider at in-network hospital or ambulatory surgical center, you are protected from surprise billing or balance billing.
What is “balance billing” (sometimes called “surprise billing”)?
When you see a doctor or other health care provider, you may owe certain out-of-pocket costs, such as a copayment, coinsurance, and/or a deductible. You may have other costs or have to pay the entire bill if you see a provider or visit a health care facility that isn’t in your health plan’s network.
“Out-of-network” describes providers and facilities that haven’t signed a contract with your health plan. Out-of-network providers may be permitted to bill you for the difference between what your plan agreed to pay and the full amount charged for a service. This is called “balance billing.” This amount is likely more than in-network costs for the same service and might not count toward your annual out-of-pocket limit.
“Surprise billing” is an unexpected balance bill. This can happen when you can’t control who is involved in your care – like when you have an emergency or when you schedule a visit at an in-network facility but are unexpectedly treated by an out-of-network provider.
You Are Protected from Balance Billing For:
If you have an emergency medical condition and get emergency services from an out-of-network provider or facility, the most the provider or facility may bill you is your plan’s in-network cost-sharing amount (such as copayments and coinsurance). You cannot be balance billed for these emergency services. This includes services you may get after you are in stable condition, unless you give written consent and give up your protections not to be balanced billed for these post-stabilization services.
The state of Missouri protects patients from surprise medical bills for health care services provided at an in-network facility from an out-of-network provider from the time the patient presents with an emergency medical condition until the patient is discharged.
Certain Services At An In-Network Hospital or Ambulatory Surgical Center
When you get services from an in-network hospital or ambulatory surgical center, certain providers there may be out-of-network. In these cases, the most those providers may bill you is your plan’s in-network cost-sharing amount. This applies to emergency medicine, anesthesia, pathology, radiology, laboratory, neonatology, assistant surgeon, hospitalist, or intensivist services. These providers cannot balance bill you and may not ask you to give up your protections not to be balance billed.
If you get other services at these in-network facilities, out-of-network providers can’t balance bill you, unless you give written consent and give up your protections.
You are never required to give up your protection from balance billing. You also are not required to get care out-of-network. You can choose a provider or facility in your plan’s network.
Missouri law requires that patients pay only their in-network cost sharing amounts. These protections apply to any patient covered by a state regulated insurance plan but does not apply to a liability insurance policy, workers’ compensation insurance policy, or medical payments insurance issued as a supplement to a liability policy.
When Balance Billing Is Not Allowed, You Also Have the Following Protections:
You are only responsible for paying your share of the cost (like the copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles that you would pay if the provider or facility was in-network). Your health plan will pay out-of-network providers and facilities
Your health plan generally must:
- Cover emergency services without requiring you to get approval for services in advance (prior authorization).
- Cover emergency services by out-of-network
- Base what you owe the provider or facility (cost-sharing) on what it would pay an in-network provider or facility and show that amount in your explanation of
- Count any amount you pay for emergency services or out-of-network services toward your deductible and out-of-pocket
If You Believe You’ve Been Wrongly Billed, You May Contact:
- The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) by calling 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227)
- The Missouri Department of Insurance by calling 800-726-7390
For more information about your rights under Federal law, visit https://www.cms.gov/nosurprises
Please click HERE to be directed to my webpage that lists my published rates.