This analysis is part of the USC-Brookings Schaeffer Initiative for Health Policy, which is a partnership between Economic Studies at Brookings and the University of Southern California Schaeffer Center for Health Policy & Economics. The Initiative aims to inform the national health care debate with rigorous, evidence-based analysis leading to practical recommendations using the collaborative strengths of USC and Brookings.
High health care costs are a major concern for many families. One particular issue that has garnered attention in recent months is surprise out-of-network billing, where consumers receive very large bills for out-of-network care even though they did not intend to select an out-of-network health care provider.
Polls suggest that three quarters of Americans favor policies that would protect consumers from surprise bills, and lawmakers in Washington and in state capitols are considering action. Below, you can find answers to frequently asked questions about surprise billing.