The newly introduced No Surprises for Survivors Act: 5 things to know

The No Surprises for Survivors Act was introduced Sept. 19 in the House of Representatives and would require commercial payers to fully cover forensic exams for sexual assault victims.

Five things to know:

  1. Though federal law does prevent sexual assault victims from being charged for forensic exams, it is only free if conducted by a licensed sexual assault nurse examiner. Providers do not always offer that service, so patients are charged.

  2. The New England Journal of Medicine published a study Sept. 14 that found more than 17,000 survivors in 2019 faced charges averaging $3,673 out of a total of 112,000 survivors who sought care that year.

  3. Under the new legislation, HHS, along with the Labor and Treasury departments, would allow additional providers to offer the forensic exams and require commercial payers to fully cover them, starting in 2025.

  4. If a medical bill is received by the patient, payers would be required to inform their member on how to receive reimbursement.

  5. The legislation would amend the No Surprises Act to classify forensic medical exams as an emergency service.


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