By Maanasa Kona and Vrudhi Raimugia
Medical debt is among the main causes of chapter in america. As many as 40 p.c of U.S. adults, or about 100 million individuals, are at present in debt due to unpaid medical or dental payments. Medical debt will be topic to aggressive collections efforts by hospitals and debt collectors—a client may even lose their house or a portion of their paycheck. Although federal regulation has some safeguards towards medical debt and its downstream penalties, the federal framework of medical debt safety has important gaps.
In a new report for the Commonwealth Fund, CHIR’s Maanasa Kona and Vrudhi Raimugia study 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. Nevertheless, the energy of those requirements varies extensively.
- Comparatively few states regulate billing and collections practices or restrict the authorized cures out there to collectors.
- Solely 5 states have reporting necessities which can be sturdy sufficient to determine each noncompliance with state regulation and patterns of discriminatory practices.
- Many states can additional defend sufferers by enhancing entry to monetary help, making certain that nonprofit hospitals are incomes their tax exemption, and limiting aggressive billing and collections practices.
You possibly can learn the total report right here and discover extra detailed state-by-state info within the interactive map right here. For any questions, contact Maanasa Kona at Maanasa.Kona@georgetown.edu.