Two Democratic lawmakers have proposed legislation to protect New Jersey residents from the full impact of medical debt, a major concern for many Americans and a leading cause of bankruptcy in recent years.
Assembly members Eric Houghtaling and Joann Downey (both D-Monmouth) introduced a measure last week in an effort to delay the involvement of collection agencies when it comes to healthcare expenses. Instead, their proposal urges medical providers to work out payment plans with patients first, and better protect disabled individuals with unpaid bills and the families of patients who die before the debt is discharged.
“Medical bills should not consume someone’s life,” Houghtaling said. “It is only fair that patients are provided with feasible methods to pay off their debt.”