Surprise medical bills have been harming families for decades. They result when patients unknowingly receive out-of-network care due to no fault of their own. Surprise medical bills can amount to hundreds, thousands, or even tens of thousands of dollars in unexpected medical costs for families.
In the COVID-19 era, the risk of receiving a surprise medical bill has grown and consumers are more likely to receive emergency care at out-of-network facilities. The onset of the pandemic has made the issue more urgent than ever and state governments have responded as such. This issue brief summarizes the actions that states have taken in 2020 in order to protect their residents from the threat of surprise medical billing.