Senator Liz Boldon Carries Minnesota Debt Fairness Act to Senate Passage

ST. PAUL, Minn. — In the early morning of Thursday, May 16th, the Minnesota Senate passed the Conference Committee Report on Senate File 4097, also known as this year’s Commerce Policy Omnibus. Among other consumer protection related provisions, the bill contained the Minnesota Debt Fairness Act – legislation authored by Senator Liz Boldon (DFL-Rochester) that will help Minnesotans who are struggling to pay medical debt by limiting predatory collection practices.

Some of the major reforms put in place by the Minnesota Debt Fairness Act are as follows:

  • Establishes new medical debt collection rights, enforceable by the Attorney General and private right of action
  • Bans medical debt from being reported to credit bureaus
  • Prohibits providers from withholding of necessary medical services due to unpaid medical debt
  • Eliminates automatic transfer of medical debt to a patient’s spouse
  • Prevents medical debt from being pursued while patients dispute coding or billing errors
  • Requires providers to publish their medical debt collection practices
  • Creates guardrails for wage garnishments, more fairly determining the amount that can be taken from Minnesotans’ paychecks
  • Institutes new protections for property from collection and in bankruptcy

After the passage of the Conference Committee Report, Senator Boldon released the following statement:

“Today, we take a step forward towards a healthcare system that values patients over profits. Minnesotans don’t plan for visits to the emergency room, nor do they anticipate taking on the financially devastating debts that may come after a sudden trip to the hospital or an unexpected illness or diagnosis. Medical debt is the leading cause of bankruptcy in the United States, which is why we are putting protections in place for Minnesotans and leveling the playing field when it comes to repayment.”

“We often hear the phrase, “Life isn’t fair,” and that may be true to an extent. However, we do have the power and responsibility to make life a little more fair for our family members, friends and neighbors who may be struggling. I want to sincerely thank Attorney General Keith Ellison and his office for their hard work and advocacy on this important piece of legislation, as well as my co-author in the House, Representative Liz Reyer. This bill will benefit thousands of Minnesotans and I look forward to it becoming law.”

The Conference Committee Report now awaits passage by the House, before it is sent to Governor Walz for his approval.

Assistant LeaderSenate District 25
Senator Liz Boldon represents Senate District 25 which includes Rochester and Oronoco. She is vice chair of the Housing and Homelessness Prevention Committee, and serves on the Education Policy Committee, Elections Committee, and Health and Human Services Committee.
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