Gov. Inslee signs bill to help consumers with medical debt

Gov. Inslee signs bill to help consumers with medical debt

Governor Jay Inslee signed a bill on Tuesday that will protect consumers by prolonging the time period given to pay medical bills before they’re sent to collections.

Under House Bill 1531, medical providers would be required to wait 120 days before assigning unpaid bills to collection agencies. After that, collection agencies would be prohibited from providing information to credit bureaus for an additional 180 days. The bill would also provide more information to consumers about their medical debt.

“One health emergency can lead to a devastating cycle of debt,” said Antonio Ginatta, policy director at Columbia Legal Services. “Families should be able to focus on basic needs instead of facing exorbitant interest rates and debilitating wage garnishment.”

HB 1531 was sponsored by Laurie Jinkins, who represents the 27th Legislative District.

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