Lawmakers urge you to speak out against medical debt

Vlcsnap 2022 09 02 16h26m49s238MARYLAND – Lawmakers are urging you to make your voice heard surrounding medical debt.

“A lot of people who theoretically would be eligible for free care or reduced cost care who end up not receiving it, end up in debt, end up in court, end up losing their homes, and end up with their wages garnished,” says Delegate Lorig Charkoudian, (D) MD, District 20.

Maryland Delegate Lorig Charkoudian’s bill is providing support for medical debt, ensuring affordable health care for all. “We have a policy in place that enables hospitals to provide free care for people who earn 200 percent of the poverty level and reduced cost care for folks in the next income bracket,” says Delegate Charkoudian.

The delegate says the department of health has been directed to build guidelines around those payment plans to help customers easily understand them. She says it’s important to make your voice heard because many people may have missed out on saving money during an already tough time. “A lot of people who theoretically would be eligible for free care or reduced cost care who end up not receiving it, end up in debt, end up in court, end up losing their homes, end up with their wages garnished, so one of the things that we’ve put in place is a number of protections, to make sure that hospitals at every step of the way are ensuring that people are eligible for free care are getting that free care and ensuring people that are eligible for reduced care or people who are not eligible for reduced care or would still be flattened by $3,000 medical bill have the opportunity to have a payment plan, that they can’t be sued while they’re in an appeal with their insurance company, that there is time before credit reports go in, that if there is going to be a lawsuit, hospitals have to make sure they double and triple check they have screened this patient for any free or reduced care that they may be eligible for,” says Delegate Charkoudian.

To share your comments, call 410-764-2565, or send comments to Dennis Phelp at 4160 Patterson Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21215, or via email at dennis.phelps@maryland.gov up until September 26th.

Categories: Check It Out, Health, Local News, Maryland, Money