Vice President Kamala Harris to Announce Reforms to Relieve Medical Debt | News

One in three adults in the United States is burdened with medical debt, which now counts as the largest source of debt on receipts – more than credit cards, utilities and car loans combined.

According to a White House newsletter, Black and Hispanic households are more likely to have medical debt than white households.

As part of the fight to help people cope with the high costs, Vice President Kamala Harris plans to announce reforms to help alleviate the burden of medical debt.

The White House said this would help give more families a chance to thrive.

“Together, these actions will help health care providers and debt collectors be held accountable for harmful practices, reduce the role that medical debt plays in determining whether Americans can access credit – and open up new opportunities.” help people with medical debt buy a home or get a small business loan, help more than half a million American low-income veterans get their medical debt forgiven. “and inform consumers about their rights,” the administration said in a statement.

The White House has said that medical debt is not just a financial issue – it can have a detrimental effect on health.

A study found that almost half of those with medical debt deliberately avoided seeking care.

“Getting sick or caring for your loved ones should not mean financial hardship for American families,” government officials said.

“This is why management is taking new steps to alleviate the burden of medical debt and protect consumers from aggressive collection policies.”

The White House said the planned actions are based on April 5 by President Joe Biden Executive decree on enhancing access to affordable, quality healthcare coverage, which has led federal agencies to take action to reduce the burden of medical debt.

“[On April 11]”Vice President Harris is announcing reforms in four areas that will reduce the burden of medical debt, protect consumers, and open up new opportunities for Americans who want to buy a home or start a small business,” the White House said.

Actions include taking responsibility from providers and collectors.

“Providers have a responsibility to offer non-aggressive payment plans or financial assistance to all eligible patients,” the White House said.

“While many do, many eligible patients report not receiving help. Worst of all, lawsuits against patients for medical bills are on the rise. “And when hospitals sell outstanding bills to third-party debt collectors, patients can engage in persistent and aggressive collection practices.”

The administration notes that the federal government pays about $ 1.5 trillion a year to the health care system to provide patients with quality care and services.

Providers receiving this funding should make it easier for eligible patients to receive the financial assistance they are entitled to and should not directly or indirectly subject patients to illegal and harassing debt collection practices, the White House said.

The Becerra Department of Health and Human Services Secretary plans to instruct the agency to assess how providers’ billing practices affect access to and affordability of medical care and medical debt accumulation.

Officials said HHS would request data from more than 2,000 providers on medical bill collection practices, patient lawsuits, financial aid, financial product offers, and third-party or debt-buying practices.

The Ministry, for the first time, will weigh this information in its grant decisions, publish key data and policy recommendations for the public, and share possible breaches with the relevant law enforcement authorities.

Separately, the Office of Consumer Financial Protection (CFPB) will investigate credit reporting companies and debt collectors who violate the rights of patients and their families and hold offenders accountable.

The White House added that the government also plans to improve government sponsorship practices. latest research found that medical debt is not a reliable predictor of overall financial health.

They said one analysis of 5 million anonymous credit records found that consumers who owed medical debts paid their bills at the same rate as those who did not.

The inclusion of repaid medical debt causes credit scores underestimate credit capacity up to 22 units.

“As a result, the inclusion of medical debt in credit reports and credit scores and in borrowing can deprive Americans of financial opportunities, while failing to improve the accuracy and predictability of lending programs,” the White House said in a statement.

Leave a Comment