Text Everything you need to know about the No Surprises Act. What it does (and doesn't) protect us from. Logo: An Arm and a Leg

On January 1, 2022, you woke up with some new protections from giant medical bills. 

Meet the No Surprises Act. It’s a new law that protects us from one of the worst experiences our health care system has to offer , surprise out-of-network hospital bills. That’s when you get hit with a bill from an out-of-network provider at an in-network hospital. Now, if you visit an in-network hospital and get seen by an out-of-network provider, that provider and your insurance have to work it out for themselves. You’re just on the hook for what you would’ve paid had this provider been in-network. That’s a big deal.

But there are some caveats (because of course). Like, for instance: these protections only apply to care you get in a hospital. Then there’s the deceptively named Surprise Billing Protection form they might ask you to sign. And there’s more. 

We break down what you need to know about your rights under this new law, what traps to look out for, and who to call if something smells fishy.

Actually, here: The federal hotline for reporting No Surprises Act violations: 1-800-985-3059

Big thanks to our guides: Patricia Kelmar, Health Care Campaigns Director at U.S. PIRG (pictured below), and Julia Nigrelli from health care consulting firm Chi-Matic. 

Here’s a transcript for the episode

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