From Community Catalyst: For More Info, Go Here…
While the ACA includes protections that aim to curb aggressive billing by non-profit hospitals, it hasn’t been enough to stem the tide of medical debt – nor to address gaps in state and federal law that fail to protect consumers once the debt has been acquired, transferred to collection agencies, or sold to debt buyers. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is accepting comments through August 19 on a proposed rule for debt collection that has significant ramifications for health care consumers who are uninsured and underinsured (see our recent blog on this here).
CFPB needs to hear from advocates about the need for a stronger rule that protects patients. Among other things, the rule would allow collection agencies to:
- Call consumers up to seven times per week, per debt
- Send important legal notices by email or text
- Resurrect “zombie debts” that have passed the statute of limitations.
Our partners at the National Consumer Law Center (NCLC) have been tracking this issue, and attest that even brief comments count! Comments are due August 19.
Here are NCLC’s helpful tools for advocates and grassroots activists to make commenting easy:
- A One-page comment roadmap for submitting a comment and engaging your allies and grassroots contacts to submit a comment.
- Fact sheets with state and national data, including impacts of medical debt on racial equity
- Summary of the proposed rule with recommendations to improve the proposal;
- A grassroots comment portal and a grassroots comment card to distribute to your network, that can be filled out at events.
Additional resources are available on NCLC’s take action page: https://www.nclc.org/take-action/take-action-debt-collection-rule.html.