Here’s an unfair situation: You slip and need to go to the emergency room. You know it’s in your best financial interest to pick a hospital that’s in your insurance network, so you’re careful to select an in-network hospital. Everything goes without a hitch, then, weeks later, you get hit with a surprise medical bill for hundreds more than you expected. The hospital may have decided to use an out-of-network emergency room doctor or X-ray technician — regardless, you didn’t choose them, but you’re still stuck paying out-of-network costs.
You wouldn’t be alone: The problem of surprise medical billing is so rampant that 1 in 5 Americans who visit an emergency room or have surgery receive them. Now, we have an opportunity to ensure that a new federal law gets rid of most of them for good.