No Surprise Act: Notices you may get & whether you should sign them

Notice and Consent

The No Surprises rules protect you from surprise medical bills in situations where you can’t easily choose a provider who’s in your health plan’s network. This is especially common in an emergency situation, when you may get care from out-of-network providers. Out-of-network providers or emergency facilities may ask you to sign a notice and consent form before providing certain services after you’re no longer in need of emergency care. These are called “post-stabilization services.” You shouldn’t get this notice and consent form if you’re getting emergency services other than post-stabilization services. You may also be asked to sign a notice and consent form if you schedule certain non-emergency services with an out-of-network provider at an in-network hospital or ambulatory surgical center.

The notice and consent form informs you about your protections from unexpected medical bills, gives you the option to give up those protections and pay more for out-of-network care, and provides an estimate of what your out-of-network care might cost. You aren’t required to sign the form and shouldn’t sign the form if you didn’t have a choice of health care provider or facility before scheduling care. If you don’t sign, you may have to reschedule your care with a provider or facility in your health plan’s network.

View a sample notice and consent form:

Surprise Billing Protection Form

The purpose of this document is to let you know about your protections from unexpected medical bills. It also asks whether you would like to give up those protections and pay more for out-of-network care.

IMPORTANT: You aren’t required to sign this form and shouldn’t sign it if you didn’t have a choice of health care provider when you received care. You can choose to get care from a provider or facility in your health plan’s network, which may cost you less. 

If you’d like assistance with this document, ask your provider or a patient advocate. Take a picture and/or keep a copy of this form for your records.

You’re getting this notice because this provider or facility isn’t in your health plan’s network. This means the provider or facility doesn’t have an agreement with your plan.

Getting care from this provider or facility could cost you more.

If your plan covers the item or service you’re getting, federal law protects you from higher bills:

  • When you get emergency care from out-of-network providers and facilities, or
  • When an out-of-network provider treats you at an in-network hospital or ambulatory surgical center without your knowledge or consent.

Ask your health care provider or patient advocate if you need help knowing if these protections apply to you.

If you sign this form, you may pay more because:

  • You are giving up your protections under the law.
  • You may owe the full costs billed for items and services received.
  • Your health plan might not count any of the amount you pay towards your deductible and outof-pocket limit. Contact your health plan for more information.

You shouldn’t sign this form if you didn’t have a choice of providers when receiving care. For example, if a doctor was assigned to you with no opportunity to make a change.

Before deciding whether to sign this form, you can contact your health plan to find an in-network provider or facility. If there isn’t one, your health plan might work out an agreement with this provider or facility, or another one.

See the next page for your cost estimate.

 

Estimate of what you could pay

Patient name: _________________________________________________________________________

Out-of-network provider(s) or facility name:________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________

Total cost estimate of what you may be asked to pay:

►Review your detailed estimate. See Page 4 for a cost estimate for each item or service you’ll get.

►Call your health plan. Your plan may have better information about how much you will be asked to pay. You also can ask about what’s covered under your plan and your provider options.

Prior authorization or other care management limitations 

Except in an emergency, your health plan may require prior authorization (or other limitations) for certain items and services. This means you may need your plan’s approval that it will cover an item or service before you get them. If prior authorization is required, ask your health plan about what information is necessary to get coverage.]

Understanding your options 

You can also get the items or services described in this notice from these providers who are in-network with your health plan:  

More information about your rights and protections

Visit www.cms.gov/nosurprises/consumers for more information about your rights under federal law.

By signing, I give up my federal consumer protections and agree to pay more for out-of-network care.

With my signature, I am saying that I agree to get the items or services from (select all that apply):

☐ [doctor’s or provider’s name] [If consent is for multiple doctors or providers, provide a separate check box for each doctor or provider]

☐ [facility name]

With my signature, I acknowledge that I am consenting of my own free will and am not being coerced or pressured. I also understand that:

  • I’m giving up some consumer billing protections under federal law.
  • I may get a bill for the full charges for these items and services, or have to pay out-of-network cost-sharing under my health plan.
  • I was given a written notice on [enter date of notice] explaining that my provider or facility isn’t in my health plan’s network, the estimated cost of services, and what I may owe if I agree to be treated by this provider or facility.
  • I got the notice either on paper or electronically, consistent with my choice.
  • I fully and completely understand that some or all amounts I pay might not count toward my health plan’s deductible or out-of-pocket limit.
  • I can end this agreement by notifying the provider or facility in writing before getting services.

IMPORTANT: You don’t have to sign this form. But if you don’t sign, this provider or facility might not treat you. You can choose to get care from a provider or facility in your health plan’s network.  

_______________________________________    or  _________________________________________ Patient’s signature Guardian/authorized representative’s signature

_______________________________________                                                                                      _______________________________________

Print name of patient                                         Print name of guardian/authorized representative

____________________________           ____________________________ Date and time of signature     Date and time of signature

Take a picture and/or keep a copy of this form. 

It contains important information about your rights and protections.

More details about your estimate

Patient name: _________________________________________________________________________  Out-of-network provider(s) or facility name: ________________________________________________ 

_____________________________________________________________________________________

The amount below is only an estimate; it isn’t an offer or contract for services. This estimate shows the full estimated costs of the items or services listed. It doesn’t include any information about what your health plan may cover.  This means that the final cost of services may be different than this estimate.

Contact your health plan to find out how much, if any, your plan will pay and how much you may have to pay.

Date of service Service code Description Estimated amount to be billed
Total estimate of what you may owe:

This applies to you if you’re a participant, beneficiary, enrollee, or covered individual in a group health plan or group or individual health insurance coverage, including a Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) plan.

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