By Maanasa Kona and Vrudhi Raimugia
Medical debt is likely one of the main causes of chapter in the USA. As many as 40 p.c of U.S. adults, or about 100 million individuals, are at the moment in debt due to unpaid medical or dental payments. Medical debt might be topic to aggressive collections efforts by hospitals and debt collectors—a shopper may even lose their house or a portion of their paycheck. Although federal regulation has some safeguards in opposition to medical debt and its downstream penalties, the federal framework of medical debt safety has vital gaps.
In a new report for the Commonwealth Fund, CHIR’s Maanasa Kona and Vrudhi Raimugia look at how states are filling gaps in federal regulation. Authors analyzed related federal and state legal guidelines and conferred with a number of state specialists in medical debt regulation and coverage.
Key findings from the report embody:
- Twenty states have their very own monetary help requirements, and 27 have neighborhood profit requirements. Nonetheless, the power of those requirements varies extensively.
- Comparatively few states regulate billing and collections practices or restrict the authorized cures obtainable to collectors.
- Solely 5 states have reporting necessities which can be strong sufficient to establish each noncompliance with state regulation and patterns of discriminatory practices.
- Many states can additional defend sufferers by bettering entry to monetary help, guaranteeing that nonprofit hospitals are incomes their tax exemption, and limiting aggressive billing and collections practices.
You possibly can learn the complete report right here and discover extra detailed state-by-state data within the interactive map right here. For any questions, contact Maanasa Kona at Maanasa.Kona@georgetown.edu.