Minnesota Laws For Medical Debt You Should Know
You had a medical emergency. You ended up going to the hospital; having X-rays...having to see a specialist...You get relief from unbearable pain...You are on the path to recovery...Worrying about the financial aspect of your situation is the last thing on your mind when all you're trying to do is get healthy.
Then..finally...The day comes when you feel much better. You go to the mailbox and get a bill. The bill is 3 times higher than what you were expecting. Your insurance has already been billed. You know you can't pay one more bill; certainly not THIS much. You now feel worse than when you went into the hospital.
DID YOU KNOW
Minnesota has an agreement with medical providers and hospitals in which they need to charge a fair price for health care services, plus; they agreed that they will be less aggressive in collection efforts of your unpaid medical debts and bills.
Per the current agreement in place, both under-insured and uninsured patients whose income is less than $125,000 per year will receive the same discounts on their medical bills that insurance companies have negotiated directly with the hospitals.
WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?
It means your bill is more affordable that first perceived; IF you take action! People can receive a 40 to 60 percent price reduction on their medical bills!
MINNESOTA'S DEBT COLLECTION PROCESS HAS CHANGED
- Hospitals, medical providers, and debt collection agencies can’t file judgments against patients.
- They need to stop collection efforts until they are given time to respond to the guidelines of the process in place.
- Minnesota requires that before filing lawsuits against patients, hospital administrators and debt collectors must review the patient records to ensure that any health insurance companies have been billed.
- They must also confirm that any payment plans, free or discounted health care, has been offered to assist them with paying their bill.
WHAT BILL COLLECTORS AND HOSPITALS CAN'T DO
It is illegal for hospitals to withdraw funds directly from a patients’ bank account without the prior approval from a court, or from a legal judgment that authorizes them to do so.
The state instituted a zero tolerance policy that will be used to prevent medical debt collectors from engaging in abusive collection practices.
LIMIT ON INTEREST RATE CHARGES IN MINNESOTA
The interest rate charged on outstanding medical debt can’t exceed a certain interest rate. Minnesota has a law that sets the allowable interest rate under this type of agreement at 8 percent.