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When you get emergency care or get treated by an out-of-network provider at an in-network hospital or ambulatory surgical center, you are protected from surprise billing or balance billing.
When you see a doctor or other health care provider, you may owe certain out-of-pocket costs, such as a copayment, coinsurance, and/or a deductible. You may have other costs or have to pay the entire bill if you see a provider or visit a health care facility that isn’t in your health plan’s network.
“Out-of-network” describes providers and facilities that haven’t signed a contract with your health plan. Out-ofnetwork providers may be permitted to bill you for the difference between what your plan agreed to pay and the full amount charged for a service. This is called “balance billing.” This amount is likely more than in-network costs for the same service and might not count toward your annual out-of-pocket limit.
“Surprise billing” is an unexpected balance bill. This can happen when you can’t control who is involved in your care—like when you have an emergency or when you schedule a visit at an in-network facility but are unexpectedly treated by an out-of-network provider.
If you have an emergency medical condition and get emergency services from an out-of-network provider or facility, the most the provider or facility may bill you is your plan’s in-network cost-sharing amount (such as copayments and coinsurance). You can’t be balance billed for these emergency services. This includes services you may get after you’re in stable condition, unless you give written consent and give up your protections not to be balanced billed for these post-stabilization services.
Certain services at an in-network hospital or ambulatory surgical center
When you get services from an in-network hospital or ambulatory surgical center, certain providers there may be out-of-network. In these cases, the most those providers may bill you is your plan’s in-network cost-sharing amount. This applies to emergency medicine, anesthesia, pathology, radiology, laboratory, neonatology, assistant surgeon, hospitalist, or intensivist services. These providers can’t balance bill you and may not ask you to give up your protections not to be balance billed.
If you get other services at these in-network facilities, out-of-network providers can’t balance bill you, unless you give written consent and give up your protections.
You’re never required to give up your protections from balance billing. You also aren’t required to get care outof-network. You can choose a provider or facility in your plan’s network.
New Jersey comprehensive balance billing protections requires insurers to hold enrollees harmless for amounts beyond in-network level of cost sharing and prohibits out-of-network providers from billing enrollees for any amount beyond in-network level of cost sharing emergency services provided by out-of-network professionals and facilities, non-emergency services provided by out-of-network professionals at in-network facilities provided by all or most classes of health care professionals. New Jersey law also provides a dispute resolution process. The above mentioned protections do not apply to non-emergency services when in-network services are available in that facility and enrollee signs a consent form agreeing to services by a specific out-of-network professional instead.
- You are only responsible for paying your share of the cost (like the copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles that you would pay if the provider or facility was in-network). Your health plan will pay out-of-network providers and facilities directly.
- Your health plan generally must:
If you believe you’ve been wrongly billed, you may contact The Department of Health and Human Services: 1-800-985-3059 or State of New Jersey, Department of Banking and Insurance: 1-800-446-7467.
Visit https://www.cms.gov/nosurprises for more information about your rights under federal law.
Visit https://www.state.nj.us/dobi/index.html for more information about your rights under state law.