New York State Governor Kathy Hochul signed legislation into law on Wednesday, December 13th, 2023, prohibiting hospitals, health care professionals, and ambulances from reporting an individual’s medical debt to credit agencies.

The New York State Governor's Office notes that according to a 2023 study from the Urban Institute, 740,000 New Yorkers have medical debt on their credit reports.

Governor Hochul’s actions prohibit medical debt from being collected from a consumer protection agency or included as a part of a consumer report, which has disproportionately affected older New Yorkers and persons of color. This legislation addresses the toll medical debt has taken on individuals’ financial security and is a significant step toward protecting all New Yorkers from medical debt and providing them the financial freedom they deserve. - State Health Commissioner, Dr. James V. McDonald

This legislation makes it easier for people in the State of New York to get jobs, secure credit, rent an apartment, pay for their children’s education, and build long-term wealth.

This new law will remove obstacles to New Yorkers’ ability to buy homes, get loans or save for retirement. No one should risk putting their financial future in jeopardy by getting the medical care they need, and AARP New York applauds Governor Hochul for signing this bill. Prohibiting medical providers from sending medical debt to credit reporting agencies will especially help older New Yorkers, whose income often decreases while their medical expenses increase – and whose numbers are growing fast. Plus, older Black and Hispanic/Latino families face much higher debt burdens than older white families. We thank bill sponsors Senator Gustavo Rivera and Assembly Member Amy Paulin and their respective houses for passing this legislation earlier this year and making this new law possible. - AARP New York State Director, Beth Finkel

This new law takes effect immediately. The State of Colorado has a similar law in effect and this measure is being considered on a federal level as well.

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