Nebraska bill would protect assault victims from medical debt collection
LINCOLN, Neb. — A bill in the Nebraska Legislature would prohibit medical providers from sending the debt of victims of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse to collectors.
“On average, survivors of intimate partner violence pay almost 30 percent of medical costs out of pocket, and women survivors of intimate partner abuse experience 42 percent higher health care costs than their non-abused peers,” Natalia Tu, a supporter of the bill, said at a Friday hearing.
The costs of examinations or treatment of injuries from sexual abuse, domestic violence, human trafficking or child abuse add up.
LB 772 would also prevent medical providers from giving out information that would hurt victims’ credit scores.
“I don’t think anyone should go to collections for seeking medical care, but certainly not seeking medical care resulting from domestic violence or sexual assault or child abuse,” said Sen. Jen Day of Omaha.
Debate on the bill will continue next week.