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No Surprises Act

Your Rights and Protections Against 

Surprise Medical Bills

 

When you get emergency care or get treated by an out-of-network provider at an in-network hospital or ambulatory surgical center, you are protected from surprise billing or balance billing. The Center is an out-of-network facility for all insurance plans except Medicare. Even though we are out-of-network and do not provide emergency services, we are required to provide you with this notice.


What is “balance billing” (sometimes called “surprise billing”)?

When you see an in-network doctor or other health care provider, you may owe certain out-of-pocket costs, such as a copayment, coinsurance, and/or a deductible. You may have other costs or have to pay the entire bill if you see a provider or visit a healthcare facility that isn’t in your health plan’s network.


“Out-of-network” describes providers and facilities that haven’t signed a contract with your health plan. Out-of-network providers may be permitted to bill you for the full amount charged for a service. This amount is likely more than in-network costs for the same service and might not count toward your annual out-of-pocket limit.


“Surprise billing” is an unexpected balance bill. This can happen when you can’t control who is involved in your care—like when you have an emergency or when you schedule a visit at an in-network facility but are unexpectedly treated by an out-of-network provider. At The Center, you will always be informed what your costs will be. If you have any questions about costs, feel free to ask and we will provide that information to you.


You are protected from balance billing for:

Emergency services 

If you have an emergency medical condition and get emergency services from an out-of-network provider or facility, the most the provider or facility may bill you is your plan’s in-network cost-sharing amount (such as copayments and coinsurance). You can’t be balance billed for these emergency services. This includes services you may get after you’re in stable condition unless you give written consent and give up your protections not to be balanced billed for these post-stabilization services.


Certain services at an in-network hospital or ambulatory surgical center

When you get services from an in-network hospital or ambulatory surgical center, certain providers there may be out-of-network. In these cases, the most those providers may bill you is your plan’s in-network cost-sharing amount. This applies to emergency medicine, anesthesia, pathology, radiology, laboratory, neonatology, assistant surgeon, hospitalist, or intensivist services. These providers can’t balance bill you and may not ask you to give up your protections not to be balance billed.


If you get other services at these in-network facilities, out-of-network providers can’t balance bill you, unless you give written consent and give up your protections.


You are never required to give up your protections from balance billing. You also aren’t required to get care out-of-network. You can choose a provider or facility in your plan’s network.


When balance billing isn’t allowed, you also have the following protections:

  • You are only responsible for paying your share of the cost (like the copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles that you would pay if the provider or facility was in-network).
  • Your health plan will pay out-of-network providers at in-network facilities directly.
  • Your health plan generally must: 
      • Cover emergency services without requiring you to get approval for services in advance (prior authorization).
      • Cover emergency services by out-of-network providers.
      • Base what you owe the provider or facility (cost-sharing) on what it would pay an in-network provider or facility and show that amount in your explanation of benefits.
      • Count any amount you pay for emergency services or out-of-network services toward your deductible and out-of-pocket limit.

 

If you believe you’ve been wrongly billed, 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 1-800-985-3059. For questions or more information about your right to a Good Faith Estimate or the dispute process, visit www.cms.gov/nosurprises or call 1-800-985-3059. Keep a copy of this Good Faith Estimate in a safe place or take pictures of it. You may need it if you are billed a higher amount.