For decades, hospitals and medical providers have hidden what their costs will be from patients. AND they’ve hidden whether or not everyone in the hospital is an “in network provider” for the purposes of what they can charge. Typically anesthesiologists were out-of-network. They would band together in a “group” and provide services to hospitals — for which they can charge far more than the in-network amount. And when insurance covered only the in-network amount, patients got a bill — SURPRISE! — for thousands, sometimes tens of thousands, of dollars.
We posted about this in October 2018 — See “How your state lets insurance companies screw you.” At the time , Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas) and Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La) had both introduced bills to protect us — but neither bill was passed.
Fortunately, the “No Surprises Act” was passed the end of 2020. It goes into effect for health plan years beginning on or after 1/1/2022. It applies to “nearly all” health insurance plans.