Getting cost estimates before you get a service if you’re uninsured or self-pay
You have the right to receive a “Good Faith Estimate” explaining how much your medical care will cost
Beginning January 1, 2022, if you’re uninsured or you pay for health care bills yourself (don’t have your claims submitted to your health plan), health care providers and facilities must provide you with an estimate of expected charges before you get an item or service. This is called a “good faith estimate.” Providers and facilities must provide you with a good faith estimate if you request one, or after you’ve scheduled an item or service. It should include expected charges for the primary item or service you’re getting, and any other items or services that are provided as part of the same scheduled experience.
The provider or facility you contact for a good faith estimate must provide a list of all items and services associated with your care. In 2022, the estimate isn’t required to include items and services provided to you by another provider or facility, but you can also ask these providers or facilities for a separate good faith estimate. In 2023, the provider or facility you contact will be required to provide co-provider or co-facility cost information.
For example, if you’re getting surgery, the good faith estimate could include the cost of the surgery, any lab services or tests, and the anesthesia used during the operation. But, in some instances, items or services related to the surgery that are scheduled separately, like pre-surgery appointments or physical therapy in the weeks after the surgery, might not be included in the good faith estimate.
If you receive a bill that is at least $400 more than your Good Faith Estimate, you can dispute the bill.
Make sure to save a copy or picture of your Good Faith Estimate. For questions or more information about your right to a Good Faith Estimate, visit www.cms.gov/nosurprises
Providers and facilities must:
Provide the good faith estimate before an item or service is scheduled, within certain timeframes, and in a way that's accessible to you.
Offer an itemized list of each item or service, grouped by the provider or facility offering care. Each item or service has to have specific details, like the health care code assigned to it and the expected charge.
Explain the good faith estimate to you over the phone or in-person if you request it, and then follow up with a written (paper or electronic) estimate.