On May 9, 2024, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont signed into law Public Act No. 24-6, “An Act Concerning the Reporting of Medical Debt,” (The Act). The Act prohibits health care providers from reporting medical debt to credit rating agencies and makes various updates to existing laws regarding the reporting of medical debt already applicable to hospitals and collection agents.

The Act defines health care providers by cross referencing the peer review statute definition at C.G.S. § 19a-17b which includes “any person, corporation, limited liability company, facility or institution operated, owned or licensed by this state to provide health care or professional services, or an officer, employee or agent thereof acting in the course and scope of his employment.” Under the Act, such health care providers are prohibited from reporting any portion of a medical debt to a credit rating agency for use in a credit report. Notably, many non-profit hospitals are subject to existing IRS extraordinary collection actions and regulations that, among other things, restrict their ability to report adverse information about an individual to a credit agency. Additionally, health care providers must include a clause in every contract entered into with a collection entity for the collection of medical debt on or after July 1, 2024, that prohibits reporting any portion of medical debt to a credit rating agency. Any medical debt reported in violation of the Act is void. Medical debt is any obligation to pay an amount related to the receipt of health care goods or services. Importantly, the term “health care goods” is broadly defined as “goods, including, but not limited to, products, devices, durable medical equipment and prescription drugs.” However, medical debt does not include debt charged to credit cards unless the credit card is issued under an open-end or closed-end credit plan offered specifically for the payment of charges related to health care goods or health care services.

Additionally, the Act makes changes to existing Connecticut law that prohibits hospitals, entities owned or affiliated with hospitals, and collection agents for such entities from reporting any individual patient to credit rating agencies for one year beginning on the date the patient first receives a bill. Beginning July 1, 2024, hospitals, entities owned or affiliated with hospitals, and collection agents are prohibited from reporting any individual patient to a credit rating agency, regardless of when the patient was billed.

All sections of the Act are effective July 1, 2024.