A health care worker in the ICU at Holy Name Medical Center in Teaneck assists with a COVID patient.

Medical debt needs greater and more urgent attention

Donna M. Christensen

We are in the midst of a national crisis affecting the lives of more than 100 million Americans, including New Jerseyans. This crisis is worsening racial disparities in health and wealth. It’s stopping some Americans from saving for retirement and others from investing in their children’s education. It’s forcing patients who may have just months to live to spend their last days on earth fighting corporations over medical bills and coverage. This is the crisis of medical debt in America, and it’s crushing millions of hardworking families.

That’s why this October — Health Literacy Month — Consumers for Quality Care is sharing information that New Jerseyans can use to help keep their out-of-pocket health care costs low and avoid medical debt. The key tips are to avoid tricky health insurance plans and policies, to ask good questions about charity care options, and to know your consumer rights if you ever get stuck with a surprise medical bill.

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