Twenty percent of Americans are still getting surprise medical bills despite a law that prohibits them. I’m Amy E. Feldman.

In a survey of more than two thousand Americans, research firm Morning Consult found that one in every five adults has received an unexpected medical bill this year, despite a law that is literally called the No Surprises Act. If you have medical insurance, the law bans surprise bills for emergency visits, even if you received them out of network and without prior approval. If you don’t have insurance, you have to be given an estimate of costs before you receive care. 

One other thing that might surprise consumers—even if you don’t have Medicare or Medicaid, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid can help you by reviewing a complaint you file with them to see if the insurer or health care facility followed the law and help you determine the next steps you can take. You can go to their website at or call the hotline at 800-985-3059 for more help being less surprised.

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