Year-over-year increases in the cost of medical care – including hospital and physician costs – continue to drive up health care costs for millions of families. The staggering expenses associated with medical care reinforce the urgent need for the consumer cost protections included as part of the No Surprises Act.

Starting January 1, 2022, the No Surprises Act will safeguard millions of Americans from surprise medical bills – one of the key drivers of higher insurance premiums and costs for those with employer-based insurance. Research shows that the some of the leading culprits behind unfair surprise charges – anesthesiologists, pathologists, radiologists and assistant surgeons – contribute $40 billion in unnecessary costs a year for employers and employees.

When the federal surprise billing protections take effect, on January 1, 2022, employees in self-funded plans – which covers more than 60 percent of the workforce in 2021 – will have comprehensive safeguards against surprise out-of-network charges. Surprise bills will be banned for emergency services, such as transport by air ambulances or care provided by out-of-network providers, and for nonemergency services delivered by out-of-network providers or specialists at in-network facilities in situations where patients didn’t have the ability to choose. The No Surprises Act will also prohibit out-of-network providers from sending patients bills for “excess charges” beyond in-network cost-sharing, helping to reduce out-of-pocket costs and premiums for all Americans.

In total, the No Surprises Act will save taxpayers more than $17 billion over the next ten years. At a time when that cost-relief is more important than ever, Congress and the Administration shouldn’t fold to private-equity firms and out-of-network providers and must make sure patients get the protections they deserve.