Medical debt is an issue that threatens the economic stability of Marylanders, especially individuals and families with low income and living in communities of color. According to Urban Institute data, 12 percent of Marylanders have medical debt in collections, with the number rising to 15 percent for people from communities of color. Those impacted by medical debt not only face an impeded ability to pay for basic necessities and discouragement from seeking the health care they need, but often face lawsuits and property and wage garnishments brought on by non-profit Maryland hospitals.
To address this problem, community advocates in Maryland passed a number of bills. This brief tells the story of that work.