New York City Debt Collection Defense Attorney

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

  • 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.
  • New York requires hospitals to use a written financial assistance policy that sets forth a sliding scale and discount rates.
  • 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.
  • 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%.
  • New York hospitals may not send collection letters directly to patients who are in the process of applying for Medicaid or other financial assistance.
  • New York hospitals must provide a 30-day notice to patients before referring the bill to a debt collector.
  • A hospital may not foreclose on a patient's home but may place a lien on it.
  • Debt collectors must obtain the hospital's consent before commencing a lawsuit to collect the medical debt.
  • Collectors must follow the hospital's financial assistance policies and provide information on such policies.
  • Hospitals must provide notices of their financial assistance policies.
  • 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).

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