WASHINGTON—U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) today announced their legislation to end surprise medical bills has gone into effect. Cassidy and Hassan successfully passed the No Surprises Act into law as part of the December 2020 government funding bill, which required that the Department of Health and Human Services implement the bill starting January 1, 2022.
“This is a milestone in our effort to lower health care costs. Too often patients have been blindsided by surprise medical bills, sometimes for tens of thousands of dollars. This is a victory for them,” said Dr. Cassidy. “This solution is pro-patient and benefits everyone.”
“After a harrowing emergency, countless Granite Staters and families across the country have returned home only to be saddled with an unfair medical bill – sometimes to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars – because an out-of-network doctor treated them. That’s why I teamed up across the aisle to pass groundbreaking legislation to help ensure that Americans aren’t left on the hook for these outrageous bills, and now these important patient protections for many health care services go into effect,” said Senator Hassan.
The legislation protects patients from having to pay out-of-network costs for emergency services, post-emergency stabilization services, and non-emergency services provided by an out-of-network provider at an in-network facility. Patients can only be required to pay in-network costs for these services.
If patients receive a higher bill for these covered services, they should contact the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services at 1-800-985-3059 or the Louisiana Department of Insurance at 1-800-259-5300. For more information, visit https://www.cms.gov/nosurprises/consumers.
These patient protections follow a two-year effort from Senators Cassidy and Hassan, starting with crafting the STOP Surprise Medical Bills Act to end this practice. In May of 2019, Senators Cassidy and Hassan joined President Trump at a White House event on the need to address this issue. The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee – on which Senators Cassidy and Hassan serve – passed legislation to end surprise medical bills as part of a broader package of legislation to address health care costs called the Lower Health Care Costs Act. Senators Hassan and Cassidy’s efforts culminated in passing into law the No Surprises Act in December of 2020.