In a new story from The Daily Yonder, new federal legislation will ensure that “surprise bills”, like air ambulances and other high-cost services performed out-of-network, will no longer apply. Part of the “No Surprises Act”, the new bill will go into effect Jan. 1, 2022, potentially saving thousands of people, including rural Americans, from having to pay sudden, expensive medical bills.

From the story: “The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) estimated the median cost for air ambulance transportation at between $36,000 and $40,000. While air ambulance providers are not allowed to send surprise bills to Medicaid or Medicare patients, patients with private insurance often find that their air ambulance trips are out-of-network, leaving them with surprise bills in the tens of thousands of dollars, according to CMS. How much of the cost is passed on to patients is unclear.

A spokesman with CMS said air ambulances were something the Biden administration was including in the No Surprises Act.

Passed as part of the omnibus legislation to fund the federal government in 2021, as well as provide Covid-19 pandemic relief funds, the No Surprises Act’s new rules and requirements would protect consumers from out-of-network bills and balance billing, the spokesman said.”

With “No Surprises”, health care providers will have to discuss costs with service carriers behind the scenes, and it would not effect the amount the patient is responsible for.

To read the rest of the story on the Yonder, click here.