The No Surprises Act:
Your legal billing protections under Federal law
Under Section 2799B-6 of the Public Health Service Act (PHSA), health care providers and health care facilities are required to inform individuals who are not enrolled in an insurance plan or coverage or a Federal health care program, or not seeking to file a claim with their insurance plan or coverage both orally and in writing of their ability, upon request or at the time of scheduling health care items and services, to receive a “Good Faith Estimate” (GFE) of expected charges.
Note: The PHSA and GFE does not apply currently to any clients who are using insurance benefits, including Out of Network Benefits (i.e. seeking reimbursement from your insurance company).
This Good Faith Estimate shows the costs of items and services that are reasonably expected for your health care needs for an item or service. The estimate is based on information known at the time the estimate was created.
The Good Faith Estimate does not include any unknown or unexpected costs that may arise during treatment. You could be charged more if complications or special circumstances occur. If this happens, federal law allows you to dispute (appeal) the bill.
If you are billed more than your Good Faith Estimate, you have the right to dispute the bill. You may contact the health care provider or facility listed to let them know the billed charges are higher than the Good Faith Estimate. You can ask them to update the bill to match the Good Faith Estimate, ask to negotiate the bill, or ask if there is financial assistance available.
You may also start a dispute resolution process with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). If you choose to use the dispute resolution process, you must start the dispute process within 120 calendar days (about 4 months) of the date on the original bill.
There is a $25 fee to use the dispute process. If the agency reviewing your dispute agrees with you, you will have to pay the price on this Good Faith Estimate. If the agency disagrees with you and agrees with the health care provider or facility, you will have to pay the higher amount.
To learn more and get a form to start the process, go to www.cms.gov/nosurprises or call HHS at 800-368-1019.
For questions or more information about your right to a Good Faith Estimate or the dispute process, visit www.cms.gov/nosurprises or call 800-368-1019.