For years, millions of Americans with medical emergencies could receive another nasty surprise: a bill from a doctor they did not choose and who did not accept their insurance. A law that goes into effect Saturday will make many such bills illegal.
If you are having a medical emergency and go to an urgent care center or emergency room, you can’t be charged more than the cost-sharing you are accustomed to for in-network services.
It is a major new consumer protection, covering nearly all emergency medical services, and most routine care. Even with insurance, emergency medical care can still be expensive, and patients with high deductible plans could still face large medical bills. But the law will eliminate the risk that an out-of-network doctor or hospital will send an extra bill.
You will still be responsible for things like a deductible or a co-payment. But once patients make that normal payment, they should expect no more bills.