On Wednesday, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) hosted a news conference to discuss new protections from surprise medical bills included in his No Surprises Act.

The No Surprise Act took effect on January 1, 2022.

The law bans most forms of surprise billing, also called balance billing, in emergency situations and when a person seeks care from an in-network facility but unknowingly receives care from an out-of-network provider.

“We know how much of a problem these out-of-control surprise bills have been and health care remains one of the most stressful costs families face. A patient can do everything right but still find themselves waking up from surgery, expecting to pay their standard co-pay, only to find out their anesthesiologist was out-of-network and they owe several thousand dollars in surprise bills,” said Brown. “This new law that will make the costs of medical care more transparent and ban most surprise medical bills. It’s a critical step that will help protect Ohioans from these surprise bills, giving them more control over the cost of their health care and the peace of mind to focus on their health and recovery – not exorbitant medical bills.”

 A recent report released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) found that approximately 1 in every 5 Americans has received a surprise bill following an elective surgery or after giving birth at an in-network facility.