In this Jan. 3, 2021, file photo, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, removes her face mask as Vice President Mike Pence, not pictured, administers the oath of office during a reenactment ceremony in the Old Senate Chamber at the Capitol in Washington. Credit: Kevin Dietsch / AP

A proposal to prevent surprise medical bills that was promoted by Maine’s Republican senator has been signed into law.

Sen. Susan Collins said the proposal was crafted because “the last thing patients should have to worry about while they are sick or recovering is receiving an unexpected bill because they were unaware they were receiving out-of-network care.” The proposal became law as part of the recent government funding package.

The proposal is designed to establish a fair payment dispute resolution process, supporters said. It also holds patients harmless from surprise medical bills by making sure they’re only responsible for in-network cost-sharing amounts in situations where they don’t have the ability to choose an in-network provider, supporters said.