Now more than ever, families are vulnerable to unexpected health care costs due to both the spread of COVID-19 and rising unemployment rates. Americans should not have to fear or manage the financial impact of receiving a surprise medical bill for putting the health of themselves, their family members, and all in our nation first. Moreover, according to a recent poll, one out of every seven U.S. adults report that they would avoid seeking care for COVID-19 because of concerns about the cost of care. When the sick avoid seeking care, the outbreak is prolonged, and everyone’s health is at greater risk.

The Administration has taken recent actions to discourage surprise billing during the pandemic, but these safeguards are not comprehensive. They do not apply to all providers or all patients. These safeguards also are not statutory or
regulatory, meaning families who try to challenge surprise medical bills could face extensive litigation. Comprehensive surprise medical bill protections are still needed.