OSPIRG advises new federal law provides protection against surprise medical bills

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PORTLAND, Ore. (KTVZ) — Patients who received medical care in January and February are beginning to receive their medical bills for those services. That’s why, in recognition of National Consumer Protection Week, it’s time to remind people to check their bills carefully and make sure they’re aware of their new legal protections against surprise billing.

OSPIRG patient advice guide helps Americans understand and use their rights under the law without surprisewhich came into effect on January 1.

This landmark law prohibits out-of-network providers from surprise billing patients who receive emergency room care, air ambulance services or non-emergency care at in-network hospitals. It protects insured patients against overcharging from out-of-network providers and keeps consumers out of payment disputes. Additionally, the law gives patients who pay cash the right to an initial good faith estimate before treatment, and providers then cannot exceed that estimate by more than $400.

“The United States is no longer the anarchic Wild West when it comes to medical costs. There’s a new sheriff in town, enforcing the law with no surprises,” said charlie fisher, State Director of OSPIRG. “Patients should double-check their medical bills for all hospital care they have received this year and act immediately to combat any illegal surprise bills they receive by filing a complaint with the federal No Surprises Hotline.”

Our patient advice guide is part of OSPIRG’s work to recognize National Consumer Protection Week 2022 by putting actionable consumer protection information in the hands of all Oregonians. All week, the OSPIRG Foundation is providing consumer protection tips and tools to help Oregonians address some of the most common consumer issues that threaten our health, safety, or financial security.

To see all of our resources for Oregon consumers, go to: https://ospirgfoundation.org/blogs/blog/usf/national-consumer-protection-week-2022

The OSPIRG Foundation is a non-profit organization based in Oregon (Oregon State Public Interest Research Group Foundation). The OSPIRG Foundation is an independent, non-partisan group working for consumers and the public interest. Through research, public education and awareness, we serve as a counterbalance to the influence of powerful special interests that threaten our health, safety or well-being. More than www.ospirgfoundation.org

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