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Comments needed on federal proposal to erode medical debtors’ rights

The National Consumer Law Center is asking people who care to submit public comments on the US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s proposed debt collection rule. Medical bills are the biggest cause of bankruptcy and the top reason for contact by collections. Unfortunately, that burden falls very heavily on Connecticut residents. Health insurance premiums for both families and singles in Connecticut are the seventh and eighth highest among states, respectively. One in ten Connecticut adults are not able to see a doctor when needed because of cost. Although having health insurance coverage is not complete protection against medical debt, it does help. After a five-year drop, the numbers of uninsured are rising again in Connecticut. The burden of medical debt is unlikely to ease anytime soon and may get far worse.

If adopted, the proposal would exempt collections from accountability for deceptive practices, compromise the privacy of very sensitive information, allows poor notices and communications that could make it impossible for consumers to access critical information about their debts, and inundate consumers, their families and friends with calls. The NCLC makes it easy to comment, including an online postcard-length option. Comments are open until August 19th. Our longer comments are online here.

What is HUSKY’s new PCMH Plus program?

What is PCMH Plus?

Are you in it already?

Would you know?

What does it mean for you and your family?

What are the risks?

Do I have to be in the program? What are my rights?

Get answers at PCMH Plus Facts

 

Attention: DSS Customers

Advocacy attorneys have filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of CT Medicaid members for failing to provide timely transportation to appointments.

If you have been denied care, contact the people below to share your story:

Greater New Haven area: Sheldon Toubman at (203) 946-4811, ext. 1148 or stoubman@nhlegal.org

Greater Hartford area: Geralynn McGee (860) 541-5033 or gmcgee@ghla.org

All other areas: Kristen Noelle Hatcher (860) 357-9308 or khatcher@connlegalservices.org.

Medicaid Study Group

Formed in 2015, the Medicaid Study Group includes over a dozen Connecticut independent consumer advocates representing diverse populations and issue areas. The Group researches the available literature, other state Medicaid programs, and the experience of other states’ programs, among other sources and makes recommendations to state policymakers. The group is strictly confidential. If you are interested in joining, contact andrews@cthealthpolicy.org.

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