State Protections Against Medical Debt: A Look at Policies Across the U.S.


State Protections Against Medical Debt: A Look at Policies Across the U.S.

By Maanasa Kona and Vrudhi Raimugia

Medical debt is among the main causes of chapter within the United States. As many as 40 % of U.S. adults, or about 100 million folks, are at the moment in debt due to unpaid medical or dental payments. Medical debt will be topic to aggressive collections efforts by hospitals and debt collectors—a shopper may even lose their residence or a portion of their paycheck. Though federal legislation 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 legislation. Authors analyzed related federal and state legal guidelines and conferred with a number of state consultants in medical debt legislation and coverage.

Key findings from the report embrace:

  • Twenty states have their very own monetary help requirements, and 27 have neighborhood profit requirements. However, the energy of those requirements varies broadly.
  • Relatively few states regulate billing and collections practices or restrict the authorized treatments out there to collectors.
  • Only 5 states have reporting necessities which might be sturdy sufficient to establish each noncompliance with state legislation and patterns of discriminatory practices.
  • Many states can additional defend sufferers by enhancing entry to monetary help, guaranteeing that nonprofit hospitals are incomes their tax exemption, and limiting aggressive billing and collections practices.

You 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


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