Despite New Law, Consumers Feel Ambushed by Surprise Medical Bills

The No Surprises Act, billed as protection for patients against surprise medical bills, took effect on New Year’s Day 2022. But has the federal law actually curbed health care charges at high out-of-network rates, as well as certain forms of “balance billing” for the portion of provider charges not covered by insurance?

The new law’s provisional report card is decidedly mixed.

Health insurers trumpet the number of surprise bills that the law is preventing but worry about the potential burden of claims disputes.

Analysts believe the law is written to provide substantial consumer protections, but they haven’t yet seen data sufficient to judge compliance.

Health care consumers give a lower grade, according to a June poll by Morning Consult. One out of five respondents said they had received an unexpected medical bill in the first half of the year, the poll found. But it’s unclear how many of those surprises — if any — should have been blocked by the limited protections of…

Continue Reading →

This article was written by John Rossheim and originally published on