New York City Debt Collection Defense Attorney

Facing Medical Debt in New York? 11 Good Medical Debt Protection Laws

  1. Hospitals may not charge uninsured patients with income under 300% of the federal poverty level more than what the hospitals receive from Medicare, Medicaid, or the highest volume payer for that hospital.
  2. New York requires hospitals to use a written financial assistance policy that sets forth a sliding scale and discount rates.
  3. Patients with income under the federal poverty threshold may only be liable for a nominal amount, while those patients with 100% to 150% of the poverty level may only be required to pay up to 20% of the amount paid by insurers.
  4. Hospitals must provide for payment plans with payments not to exceed 10% of the patient's gross monthly income and for which interest is limited to the rate on a 90-day Treasury bill plus 0.5%.
  5. New York hospitals may not send collection letters directly to patients who are in the process of applying for Medicaid or other financial assistance.
  6. New York hospitals must provide a 30-day notice to patients before referring the bill to a debt collector.
  7. A hospital may not foreclose on a patient's home but may place a lien on it.
  8. Debt collectors must obtain the hospital's consent before commencing a lawsuit to collect the medical debt.
  9. Collectors must follow the hospital's financial assistance policies and provide information on such policies.
  10. Hospitals must provide notices of their financial assistance policies.
  11. New York hospitals that receive state charities are prohibited from engaging in discriminatory pricing practices.

This bulleted list was derived from N.Y. Pub. Health Law § 2807 and National Consumer Law Center, Collection Actions (2d ed. 2011).