Rural Health

New York State’s Struggle with Medical Debt Disparities

A recent analysis funded by NYHealth and conducted by the Urban Institute has revealed concerning statistics regarding medical debt in New York State. As of February 2022, approximately 6% of consumers, or around 740,000 adults, had medical debt in collections. Alarmingly, almost half of those with medical debt owed $500 or more.

In June 2023, the New York State Legislature passed a bill to exclude medical debt from credit reports, pending the Governor’s approval. This legislative move aims to address financial disparities and improve residents’ well-being.

Interactive maps provided by NYHealth illustrate the extent of medical debt in collections across the state, using data from the Urban Institute’s report.

In an October 2023 update, the Urban Institute released a supplementary brief with detailed tables showcasing the prevalence of medical debt in various New York regions, including cities, statistical areas, hospital regions, and legislative districts.

These findings highlight the urgent need to address medical debt issues and the potential impact of the pending legislation. The state eagerly awaits the Governor’s decision, hoping for a more financially equitable future for its residents.

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