New York Bill Would Remove Medical Debt from Credit Reports

By Consumers for Quality Care, on November 29, 2023

New York Bill Would Remove Medical Debt from Credit Reports

Efforts are underway in New York to prohibit medical debt from being included on consumer credit reports, as reported by Spectrum News 1.

A bill awaits New York Governor Kathy Hochul’s signature that would lessen the financial harm of carrying medical debt. “We know the impact that that can have potentially on you being able to get a home, to get a job, to get a bank loan etc., so I am hopeful that the governor will sign it,” said State Senator Gustavo Rivera, D-Queens. “She has signed some before and we’re consistently working with the department of health to be able to better address the issues of medical debt here in the state of New York.”

Last year, the three major national reporting agencies agreed not to report medical debt under $500, a move that has shown to have “demonstrable improvements in people’s credit scores,” according to NY Health Foundation President & CEO David Sandman.

If signed into law, this measure would immediately help hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers, particularly New Yorkers of color and low-income consumers, who are disproportionally affected by medical debt. “Hundreds of dollars, maybe $1,000, it’s a very small sum say to a hospital but it can be a great deal of money to a low-income person who’s struggling to pay off that unexpected bill along with everything else,” Sandman said.

CQC applauds these efforts and urges more collaboration from both public and private entities to find ways to address the burden of medical debt on millions of Americans.