The Medical Debt De-Weaponization Act (HouseBill 1039) will help protect families from crippling medical debt by increasing transparency, setting fair interest rates, and curtailing harsh collection practices.
The Coalition SUPPORTS to this legislation.
Specifically, House Bill 1039:
· Requires that hospital and healthcare facilities disclose charges for all services.
· Sets standards for the provision of charity and discounted care.
· Prohibits collecting on medical debt though arrest, home foreclosures and wage garnishment.
· Institutes financial assistance guidelines and parameters for patients who cannot pay medical bills.
· Places fair limits on interests for medical debt.
A study by the National Academy of State Health Policy and the North Carolina State HealthPlan found that hospitals are encouraging patients who can’t pay to open medical credit cards that charge interest rates as high as 18 percent.
HB 1039 is a strong consumer protection bill that will help address the medical debt crisis and ensure family finances are not ruined by the inability to afford healthcare.
Actions related to this bill will be factored into a member’s Affordable Healthcare Grade at the close of the legislative session.