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3 Ways Coverage at Work Just Got (Even) Better

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Published Mar 16, 2022 • by AHIP

Nearly 180 million Americans rely on employer-provided coverage for access to health care. It continues to be the bedrock of our entire health care system.

Employer-provided coverage delivers affordable access to care, effective ways to improve health, and financial security. From comprehensive health insurance coverage and income protection to dental and vision benefits, Americans have real choices and real control in the care and protection they receive through work.

It’s no wonder that nearly three-in-four people say they’re satisfied with the health care coverage they receive through work.

Now they have even more protections and peace of mind.

The No Surprises Act, which went into effect at the beginning of this year, means millions of Americans will no longer suffer from outrageous surprise medical bills that have bankrupted too many families across the country.

In 2019 Americans made more than 130 million visits to emergency rooms. Before the new law, nearly 20 percent of those patients with health insurance received a costly surprise medical bill from a provider or specialist who treated them.

It’s a misfortune that millions of Americans will no longer experience thanks to the No Surprises Act.

Here are the three ways the new law protects patients:

  1. Banning surprise bills from emergency department treatment, out-of-network providers at in-network hospitals and for air ambulance transport.
  2. Limit cost-sharing to what a consumer would pay for in-network care and ensuring continuity of care if your health plan changes during treatment.
  3. Lowering insurance premiums through an efficient and effective independent dispute resolution (IDR) process.

Federal experts say the law will prevent 10 million surprise medical bills per year — and since a majority of Americans get their coverage at work, this will protect millions of businesses and their employees across the country.

Still, more work is needed to make sure patients are fully protected.

Some hospitals and physician groups, particularly those that are backed by private-equity firms, want to weaken these critical protections. Some have even filed lawsuits to challenge them in court.

It is a fact: Without the strong protections of the No Surprises Act, patients and families will face higher premiums and higher out-of-pocket costs because of predatory price gouging. Reinforcing vital protections, like the ones that stop private-equity firms from abusing the independent dispute resolution process, is critical to lower insurance premiums and lower costs for patients.

Protecting patients from surprise medical bills is just one way that health insurance providers are partnering with businesses to deliver affordable access to care and financial peace of mind for their workers.

Learn more about the benefits of employer-provided coverage by visiting Coverage@Work.

Coverage@Work

Coverage@Work (C@W) is a campaign to educate policymakers and the public about the value employer-provided coverage delivers to nearly 180 million Americans. C@W supports and advocates for market-based solutions that advance health, choice, affordability, and value for every American.

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