About 740,000 New Yorkers have medical debt according to the Urban Institute. And nearly half of those people owe at least $500. Debt like this can affect credit scores and therefore make it more difficult to rent an apartment, get a mortgage and more.
Juan Pinzon, director of government relations at the Community Service Society, joins “News All Day” to discuss how the nonprofit helps New Yorkers.
The Community Service Society’s mission is to promote economic opportunity and create a more fair city and state. It has helped New Yorkers reduce or eliminate at least $35 million of debt so far this year.
Pinzon says that medical debt impacts people of color and those without health insurance the most.
The ways in which CSS helps people reduce or eliminate debt include identifying if someone has been billed incorrectly, seeing if they have balance billing protections, and checking to see if they’re eligible for financial support but didn’t know it.
Pinzon says that CSS has effectively helped pass bills to that will assist people with medical debt.
They’re also hoping Gov. Hochul signs the Fair Medical Debt Reporting Act, which will ban the reporting of medical debt to credit reporting agencies. A lot of the debt reported is full of mistakes, so this bill is designed to help the consumer.
For more information or to get help, there’s a helpline and website through Community Health Advocates. You can call 888-614-5400 or go to CommunityHealthAdvocates.org.