No Surprises Act: What You Should Know About Surprise Billing Protections
Medical bills often arrive unexpectedly and send many families into a financial tailspin. Unanticipated out-of-network medical bills, which frequently happen during emergencies, can reach hundreds or thousands of dollars. The No Surprises Act (NSA), which passed in 2020 and went into effect in 2022, broadly prohibits out-of-network bills for emergency and certain non-emergency situations.
This webinar will provide a general overview of patients’ rights against surprise medical bills under the NSA, focusing on privately insured and uninsured patients. Public insurance programs like Medicaid and Medicare have their own surprise billing protections, but the NSA and a handful of state surprise billing laws offer protection to privately-insured and uninsured patients. While these surprise billing laws have their limitations, consumer attorneys should be aware of the complaint processes available if they believe a client has been billed in violation of surprise billing protections.
What You Will Learn
- What patient surprise billing protections exist under the federal No Surprises Act
- What state surprise billing protections and Medicare/Medicaid surprise billing protections attorneys can use to help clients
- How to set up a complaint process for these accounts
- How to leverage surprise billing protections to advocate for clients
Berneta L. Haynes is a senior attorney who focuses on consumer energy policy and medical debt. At NCLC, she recently authored Protecting Older Adults from Surprise Medical Bills. She is also a contributing author to the medical debt chapter of NCLC’s Collection Actions practice manual. Before joining NCLC, she served as a director at Georgia Watch, a state-based consumer advocacy organization in Atlanta, where she worked to make energy programs, quality healthcare, financial protection, and civil justice more equitable and accessible for all. At Georgia Watch, she led coalitions, facilitated forums, steered the passage of crucial medical billing legislation, and authored consumer-facing educational materials (such as the Georgia Consumer Guide for Medical Bills and Debt) and policy guides on energy equity, financial protection, and healthcare billing. Previously, she practiced law at the Environmental Law and Policy Center in Chicago and Southern Environmental Law Center. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in English, Writing, and Psychology from Drury University, her Master’s degree in English from University of Iowa, and her law degree from University of Iowa College of Law.