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State Protections Against Medical Debt

Medical debt, or personal debt incurred from unpaid medical bills, is one of the leading causes of bankruptcy in the United States. As many as 40 percent of U.S. adults, or about 100 million people, are currently in debt because of medical or dental bills. Medical debt can be subject to aggressive collections efforts by hospitals and debt collectors, and can even result in patients losing their homes or portions of their paychecks. Though federal law has some protections against medical debt and its downstream negative effects, the federal framework of medical debt protection has significant gaps. States can step in to fill these gaps, and this map provides an overview of these state protections.

For more in-depth analysis of state action on medical debt, visit our report here.

Publication Details


Maanasa Kona, Assistant Research Professor, Center on Health Insurance Reforms, Health Policy Institute, McCourt School of Public Policy, Georgetown University

[email protected]