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How Medical Debt In Maryland Could Cost You Your House: New Protections Against Surprise Medical Bills

Published on April 15, 2023

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How Medical Debt In Maryland Could Cost You Your House: New Protections Against Surprise Medical Bills

What Is The No Surprises Act?

The No Surprises Act is a new law in the state of Maryland designed to protect individuals from unexpected medical bills. The Act ensures that patients are not held accountable for any surprise medical costs beyond their insurance coverage.

It also requires carriers to provide consumers with greater transparency and advance notification of potential out-of-pocket costs, including deductibles and copays. Additionally, the Act bans balance billing, which is when a provider charges an insured patient more than the contracted rate for services received.

Finally, it prohibits health care providers from taking legal action against a consumer over unpaid balances if the provider did not comply with the requirements of the Act. In short, this Act provides much needed protections against financial loss due to surprise medical bills in Maryland.

Out-of-network Services & Balance Billing Protection

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In Maryland, out-of-network services can lead to balance billing, which is when a patient is charged more than the amount covered by their insurance. This type of medical debt can be extremely costly and even threaten a person's housing security if they are unable to pay.

Thankfully, new protections have been put in place to prevent surprise medical bills from putting undue financial stress on individuals and families. These protections include caps on out-of-network care charges for consumers who use an in-network provider unknowingly, as well as limits on how much out-of-network providers are able to charge patients.

Additionally, these protections require providers to provide an estimate of expected costs before any service is performed so that patients are aware of what they will owe. With these new laws, Maryland residents no longer have to worry about skyrocketing medical bills impacting their ability to keep up with their mortgage payments or rent.

Your Rights When Faced With Surprise Bills Or Balance Billing

When facing surprise bills or balance billing, Maryland residents have the right to know what medical services are covered and which costs may be billed. Shockingly, these bills can often come with a hefty price tag, sometimes even resulting in the loss of your home.

New protections exist that limit what providers can charge for out of network care, as well as how much patients have to pay for certain procedures. Additionally, if you do receive an unexpected bill from a provider outside your insurance network, you can dispute it with the provider or your health insurer and request additional information before any payment is made.

It’s important to remember that you have rights when it comes to medical debt in Maryland and that there are legal protections in place to help protect you from surprise bills or balance billing.

Continuity Of Care And Its Role In Protecting Patients From Unforeseen Costs

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Continuity of care plays an important role in protecting patients from unforeseen costs, such as medical debt and surprise medical bills. In Maryland, a new set of measures have been put into place to ensure that individuals are not overly burdened with medical debt and the risk of losing their homes due to it.

These protections include ensuring that patients are notified when out-of-network providers are providing their care, allowing them to make informed decisions about their health care. Additionally, a patient's choice to continue treatment with an out-of-network provider would be honored even if the patient had already fulfilled their deductible for that plan year.

This allows patients to receive uninterrupted care without worrying about being exposed to potential financial risks due to unexpected out-of-pocket costs. The new protections also provide reimbursement rules that allow insurance companies to more accurately estimate how much they will pay for out-of-network services before a patient receives them.

This helps patients make better decisions regarding their healthcare while minimizing potential financial burdens associated with surprise medical bills after the fact.

Maryland-specific Balance Billing Protections

In the state of Maryland, a new set of protections has been put in place to protect citizens from experiencing the devastating consequences of medical debt. These specific balance billing protections apply when an individual receives surprise medical bills, meaning that they are billed for services that were not covered by their insurance plan.

This could be for care received out-of-network or for emergency services that do not have a network provider. The protections ensure that individuals will not experience financial hardship due to these unexpected costs and more specifically, will not be at risk of losing their home due to medical debt.

To reduce the risk of surprise charges, Marylanders are encouraged to check if their provider is in-network and whether any procedures are covered before receiving care, as well as to track all medical bills they receive throughout the year.

Good Faith Estimates & Their Impact On Patient Financial Responsibility

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Good faith estimates are an important tool for protecting patients from surprise medical bills in Maryland. By providing a good faith estimate of the cost of medical care and treatment, patients can be better informed about the financial responsibility they may incur when seeking medical care.

If a provider charges more than the estimated amount, the patient may have grounds to dispute the bill or seek other recourse. This protection is especially important for those who may not have enough savings to cover unexpected fees.

In addition, providers must also follow certain guidelines for billing and collecting fees, such as providing clear notification of any additional costs before treatment begins. These requirements ensure that patients are aware of their potential financial responsibility before receiving care and can make decisions accordingly.

With greater transparency and protection against surprise medical bills, individuals in Maryland can feel better about seeking necessary health services without fear of incurring debt that could put their home at risk.

How To Access Additional Resources For Medical Bill Questions

In Maryland, medical debt can be a significant source of financial stress and, in some cases, can even lead to the loss of one's home. Fortunately, there are additional resources available for those who are dealing with medical bills and want to explore their options.

People should start by reaching out to the state Department of Health or a nonprofit consumer advocacy organization such as Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition or Consumers' Checkbook. These organizations provide free advice on how to address medical bill questions and access local resources.

In addition, many hospitals have patient financial services departments that can help individuals understand their bills and payment options. Furthermore, there are low-interest loan programs available at nonprofit credit counseling agencies for those who are struggling with high medical costs.

Finally, people facing potential foreclosure due to overwhelming medical debt should contact the Maryland Office of Homeownership Preservation for assistance and guidance.

Common Questions About Balance Billing In Maryland

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In Maryland, balance billing is a type of medical debt that can cause serious financial hardship. It occurs when an out-of-network provider charges patients more than what the insurance company pays them for services.

This often results in huge surprise bills that patients are unable to pay. Many individuals may not understand the risks of balance billing and the new protections against it.

Common questions about balance billing in Maryland include: How does balance billing work? What are the consequences for unpaid medical debt? Are there any laws that protect patients from unexpected medical costs? Is there a way to dispute or appeal an unexpected bill? Will I be able to keep my house if I cannot afford to pay my medical debt? Answering these questions can help Maryland residents understand their rights and responsibilities when it comes to balance billing and medical debt.

Understanding The Different Types Of Insurers In Maryland

In Maryland, there are several different types of insurers, each of which may have different policies regarding medical debt. Private insurance companies, Medicare and Medicaid are the most common.

Private insurance companies offer coverage to individuals or families, including hospital stays and outpatient care. Medicare is a federal program that provides coverage for people age 65 and older or those with certain disabilities.

Medicaid is a state-run health insurance program designed to help low-income individuals and families pay for medical care. Each of these insurances has its own set of rules and regulations when it comes to medical debt, so it's important to understand what type of coverage you have before accruing any medical expenses.

Additionally, Maryland recently passed legislation that offers protections to consumers against surprise medical bills for services received from an out-of-network provider that were not preauthorized by the patient's insurer. Understanding the different types of insurers in Maryland can help you make informed decisions about your health care and protect you from incurring unexpected medical debt.

Ways To Resolve Disputes Over Medical Bills

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Resolving disputes over medical bills in Maryland can be difficult and costly. If someone is unable to pay a medical bill they could face losing their home.

Fortunately, there are new protections against surprise medical bills that have been put in place to help those who find themselves in this situation. If the provider and patient cannot come to an agreement on payment for services, the patient may submit a dispute to the Maryland Insurance Administration (MIA).

The MIA will review both sides of the dispute and make a ruling. Depending on the outcome of the dispute, either party can appeal the decision or accept it as final.

Additionally, patients may be eligible for assistance from organizations like Maryland Health Care Access Monitor if they cannot afford to pay their medical bills. Patients should also be aware of “balance billing” which occurs when providers bill patients directly for amounts not covered by insurance companies.

This practice is now prohibited in Maryland, so patients should not be held responsible for any amount not previously agreed upon with their healthcare provider.

Frequently Asked Questions About The No Surprises Act

The No Surprises Act is a new law in Maryland that offers protections for individuals facing surprise medical bills. This act is meant to help people struggling with medical debt to keep their homes.

Here are some frequently asked questions about this new law and how it can help protect Marylanders from medical debt-related foreclosure. How does the No Surprises Act work? The No Surprises Act requires insurers to cover all surprise medical bills, preventing Marylanders from having to pay out-of-network costs that they were not expecting.

It also provides financial assistance with co-pays and other fees so that individuals can keep up with their health care bills without going into debt. What types of surprise medical bills are covered by the No Surprises Act? Surprise medical bills occur when an individual receives services or treatments from an out-of-network provider even though they thought they were receiving care from within their network.

These include emergency room visits, tests, surgeries, and other treatments or procedures that could lead to unexpected charges. The No Surprises Act covers these kinds of surprise bills as long as the insurance company had prior knowledge of them.

How will the No Surprises Act help those struggling with medical debt? The act prevents individuals from incurring additional out-of-pocket expenses due to surprise costs, making it easier for them to stay on top of their health care expenses without going into further debt. Additionally, it offers financial assistance for co-pays and other fees so that Marylanders can remain current on their payments without having to worry about foreclosure due to mounting medical debt.

Exploring Alternatives To Traditional Insurance Options For Medical Care

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When the cost of medical care is too much for traditional insurance to cover, it can be difficult for Maryland residents to make ends meet. To help alleviate this burden, many are turning to alternative insurance options such as Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs), and Medical Savings Plans (MSPs).

HSAs allow individuals to save pre-tax dollars for medical expenses, while FSAs and MSPs provide tax-advantaged savings that can be used to pay for out-of-pocket medical costs. These plans often offer lower premiums than traditional health insurance policies, allowing individuals in Maryland to better manage their medical debt.

In addition, many of these plans come with a variety of features designed to help protect consumers from surprise bills, including caps on out-of-pocket costs and no annual or lifetime limits on coverage. By exploring these alternatives, Maryland residents can take advantage of the financial protection they provide while also ensuring that they have access to quality healthcare services.

Strategies For Managing Unexpected Or High Medical Bills

When faced with unexpected or high medical bills, it is important to be proactive in order to avoid losing your home due to medical debt. Maryland has recently implemented new protections against surprise medical bills to assist residents in these situations.

One strategy is to contact your insurance provider and review the coverage. It is essential to understand what types of care are covered and what the out-of-pocket costs will be before seeking treatment.

Additionally, you should ask if any of the services can be discounted or if there are payment plans available. Be sure to keep track of all communication with your insurance company as well as copies of all documents related to the bill.

Another strategy is to reach out for assistance from organizations that provide financial aid such as charities, county financial counseling programs, and community health centers. Finally, consider filing a complaint with the Maryland Insurance Administration if you believe you have been charged unfairly or if your insurance company has failed to pay properly for services rendered.

Taking these steps can help manage unexpected or high medical bills and protect yourself from potential foreclosure due to medical debt in Maryland.

Understanding Your Rights When Paying For Health Care Services In Maryland

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In Maryland, it is important to understand your rights when you are paying for health care services. Medical debt can be a major burden and in some cases, it can even lead to the loss of property.

New protections against surprise medical bills have been put in place if you meet certain eligibility criteria. If you receive an unexpected bill, you may be able to dispute it with the help of a lawyer or through a government-run arbitration program.

In addition, there are laws that shield consumers from being charged excessive prices for healthcare services by protecting them from balance billing practices. There are certain exceptions to these laws, so understanding the details is key in order to protect yourself from any potential financial hardships.

Additionally, it is important to remember that seeking medical attention should never be avoided due to financial concerns and there are resources available for those who cannot afford care such as free clinics or sliding fee scales based on income level at certain providers. Knowing your rights and options when it comes to medical expenses can save you time and money in the long run.

What Are The Consequences If You Don't Pay Your Medical Bills?

If medical debt in Maryland is accumulated and not paid, the consequences can be severe. Debt collectors may pursue legal action in order to obtain payment, which could result in wage garnishment, a lien on your property, or even seizure of your house.

Even if you are able to pay off debt collectors, they may still take legal action against you if they feel that it is necessary. In addition to these potential actions from debt collectors, unpaid medical bills can also damage credit scores and increase the interest rates on other loans you may have taken out.

Ultimately, the goal should be to avoid accumulating medical debt and instead look for ways to mitigate costs by taking advantage of new protections against surprise medical bills.

Overview Of Maryland Laws On Collecting Payment For Medical Services


In Maryland, it is important to understand the laws related to medical debt and collection of payment for medical services. The state has established measures to protect people from surprise medical bills which could cost them their house.

Under Maryland law, non-emergency services must be preauthorized in order to be covered by insurance. Medical providers must also provide a written notice if they intend to take legal action against a person for unpaid medical bills.

In cases where legal action is taken, the medical provider must notify the debtor of the lawsuit and serve papers within three months of filing. Furthermore, any wages garnished for unpaid medical bills can not exceed 25% of the debtor's disposable earnings or 30 times the federal minimum wage per week, whichever is lower.

Finally, there are limits on how long a creditor can collect on a debt before it is considered time barred, meaning that after three years from when it became due, no collection efforts can be made against an individual in Maryland for an unpaid medical bill.

Steps To Take If You Believe You Have Been Overcharged For A Medical Service

If you believe that you have been overcharged for a medical service in Maryland, it is important to take action. First, review your bills carefully and make sure that all of the charges are accurate.

If there are any discrepancies, contact your health care provider for more information. It is also important to check if any insurance coverage may have been applied incorrectly or any other mistakes have been made which could potentially reduce the cost of your medical service.

Additionally, you should be aware of the new protections against surprise medical bills recently implemented by the state of Maryland – these regulations could help protect you from being charged an exorbitant amount for medical services. Finally, if you feel like you’ve been overcharged and nothing else has worked, consider filing a complaint with the Maryland Insurance Administration or speaking with a legal representative who specializes in medical debt cases in order to help resolve this issue.

Essential Resources For Understanding And Addressing Medical Debt In Maryland


Navigating medical debt can be overwhelming, especially when it involves surprise medical bills. In Maryland, medical debt can result in a lien on your home if unpaid.

Fortunately, new protections have been put into place to help those struggling with medical debt. Understanding these protections is essential for those dealing with the burden of unexpected medical bills.

Knowing where and how to access resources available in Maryland is key to addressing the issue of medical debt before it becomes a larger problem. Legal aid organizations, state and federal government agencies, as well as private and public healthcare providers offer a range of services for individuals facing this issue in Maryland.

Many provide free consultations so that you can take advantage of their services without any additional financial strain. Additionally, there are organizations specifically designed to assist people with medical debt.

These organizations often provide counseling, advice and assistance in managing your debts or negotiating with creditors or collectors. Furthermore, it’s important to remember that you don’t need to face this burden alone – seeking out support from friends and family or talking to a mental health professional can be incredibly beneficial during this difficult time.

Finding Assistance With Medically Necessary Services Not Covered By Insurance

Medical debt in Maryland can be a daunting and financially ruinous prospect, but there are multiple resources available to individuals and families struggling with unexpected medical bills. If your insurance does not cover medically necessary services, organizations like the Maryland Department of Health, Maryland Health Care Commission, and Medical Assistance programs may be able to provide assistance.

Additionally, the Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition can help guide you through debt negotiation with creditors to create a payment plan that works for you. While bankruptcy is sometimes necessary due to medical debt in Maryland, it should always be used as a last resort.

Before considering bankruptcy, be sure to explore all other options such as Medicaid or financial aid programs offered by hospitals. Ultimately, being informed on your rights and knowing where to find support is essential in managing medical debt efficiently and responsibly.

What Is The Statute Of Limitations On Medical Bills In Maryland?

In Maryland, the statute of limitations on medical bills is generally three years. This means that if a person does not pay or dispute a medical bill within three years of its being sent, the debt collector can pursue legal action against them.

However, there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, if the debtor files for bankruptcy protection, the statute of limitations may be extended until the date of the discharge order or up to seven years from when the debt was incurred.

Additionally, depending on the type of debt involved and whether it is an open-ended or closed-end contract, certain types of medical debts may have longer statutes of limitation in Maryland. As such, it is important for individuals who are dealing with medical debt in Maryland to be aware of what their rights and obligations are under state law.

Fortunately, new protections against surprise medical bills have been put into place to help protect individuals from having their property taken away due to unpaid medical debts.

Can Medical Bills Go To Collections In Maryland?

Medical debt

In Maryland, it is possible for medical bills to go to collections. In recent years, the state has seen an increasing number of people struggling with medical debt and facing the threat of losing their homes due to unpaid medical bills.

To address this issue, Maryland has passed legislation that provides new protections against surprise medical bills and other forms of medical debt. This legislation prohibits health care providers from placing a lien on a patient's property or sending unpaid medical debts to collection agencies without first receiving written permission from the patient.

Additionally, if a bill does go to collections, it must be reported as an unpaid bill in accordance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). By providing these protections, Maryland residents are better equipped to avoid falling victim to predatory practices when dealing with medical debt.

What Is The Maryland Debt Protection Act?

The Maryland Debt Protection Act is a new law designed to protect patients from the financial consequences of surprise medical bills.

The law, which took effect in July 2020, requires insurers to cover any out-of-network care that a patient receives in an emergency situation and prohibits them from charging more than what they would charge for in-network care.

Additionally, the law limits how much providers can bill patients for balance billing and requires providers to inform patients before they receive services if they will be billed out-of-network.

By providing these protections, patients are ensured that they won't be hit with costly medical bills that could put them at risk of losing their home.

Does Maryland Prohibit Balance Billing?

Yes, Maryland does prohibit balance billing. As of October 1, 2020, a new law protects Marylanders from surprise medical bills and out-of-pocket costs for non-emergency care.

The law prohibits providers from balance billing patients for services covered by insurance when the provider is not considered an in-network provider. It also requires providers to inform patients of their rights during the registration process and provide written notice of any cost sharing charges before treatment.

All health care providers in Maryland must comply with this law when providing non-emergency care services to their patients. This protection is especially important for those facing high medical debt in Maryland, as it helps ensure that they are not subject to surprise expenses that could put them at risk of losing their homes.


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