At its core the American health system is not about health. It’s all about money. Nothing illustrates that better than the years’ long fight over surprise medical bills that finally ended when Congress passed the Omnibus Appropriations and Emergency Coronavirus Relief Act as 2020 came to a close. You know those are the bills both small and large that would show up unexpectedly after you and your insurance company had paid for your care.

Too often patients found they owed hundreds, sometimes thousands of dollars, after they had thought insurance payments along with their cost-sharing obligations – deductibles, copays, and coinsurance – had taken care of the bill. Many times those bills came from emergency room doctors and anesthesiologists when patients suffered medical emergencies. – not an ideal time to be asking about billing practices.

What problems have you had with out-of-network billing? Write to Trudy at trudy.lieberman@gmail.com.