By Consumers for Quality Care, on October 25, 2023
Nearly three-quarters of a million New Yorkers carry some form of medical debt, and nearly half carry debts of at least $500, according to research provided by the Urban Institute and reported by Spectrum News.
Medical debt can negatively affect a consumer’s credit score, making it harder to rent an apartment, or obtain a mortgage or car loan. Consumers with medical debt are more likely to avoid seeking needed medical care for fear of going further into debt, leading to negative health outcomes. Medical debt also disproportionally affects consumers of color and the uninsured.
But a nonprofit, the Community Service Society (CSS), is looking to address the medical debt crisis facing many in the state. Just this year, they have helped consumers reduce or eliminate at least $35 million in medical debt. They help consumers by ensuring they have been billed properly and look to see if they are eligible for any financial assistance, among other things. CSS also works with the state legislature to pass laws aimed at addressing the root of the issue.
CQC applauds efforts that aim to eliminate the medical debt crisis for consumers, and also urges lawmakers and the Biden administration to enact policies that will protect consumers from crushing medical debt.