A healthcare worker in the intensive care unit at Holy Name Medical Center in Teaneck assists 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 residents of New Jersey. This crisis is worsening racial disparities in health and wealth. This prevents some Americans from saving for retirement and others from investing in their children’s education. It forces patients who may only have a few months to live to spend their last days on earth battling corporations for medical bills and coverage. It’s America’s medical debt crisis, and it’s crushing millions of hard-working families.

That’s why this October—Health Literacy Month—Consumers for Quality Care is sharing information New Jerseyans can use to help lower their healthcare costs and avoid medical debt. Key advice is to avoid tricky health insurance plans and policies, ask good questions about charity care options, and know your rights as a consumer if you’re ever stuck with a surprise medical bill.

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