Ill-Gotten Gains: The Inequity of Rising Medical Debt and How States Can Respond

Webinar Resources


April 28, 2022
3:00 - 4:00 p.m. EST 


Between 2009 and 2020, unpaid medical bills became the largest source of debt that Americans owe collections agencies. Medical debt is an increasing problem for consumers and disproportionately impacts Black and Hispanic families, uninsured households and households with little or no wealth. In addition, hospitals are increasingly taking consumers to court and garnishing wages over unpaid medical bills, though many of these institutions are nonprofits required to provide care at a reduced or no cost. The confluence of rising healthcare costs, increased cost-sharing and lax charity care provisions works to saddle consumers with more and more medical debt.

In this webinar, we were joined by advocates from three states that have recently enacted medical debt protections. The speakers discussed the potential impact of these new laws, as well as their experiences advocating for such measures. In discussing the strategies they used to pass medical debt protections, the speakers shared their knowledge with advocates and policymakers looking to enact similar medical debt protections for their own states.

  • Maanasa Kona, J.D., LL.M., Assistant Research Professor and faculty member at the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute’s Center on Health Insurance Reforms (CHIR). (Moderator)
  • Nicolas Cordova, JD, Healthcare Attorney for New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty
  • Marceline White, MPIA, Executive Director for the Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition
  • Julia Char Gilbert, Connelly Policy Advocate at the Colorado Center on Law and Policy


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