N.J. Assembly Financial Institutions & Insurance Votes to Approve Legislation Aimed at Alleviating Medical Debt

Vote comes as new survey reveals majority of cancer patients & survivors have or expect to incur medical debt

June 13, 2024

Earlier today, the New Jersey State Assembly Financial Institutions & Insurance Committee voted to move the Louisa Carmen Medical Debt Relief Act forward. A3861, sponsored by Assemblywoman Verlina Reynolds-Jackson, Assemblyman Wayne DeAngelo, Assemblyman Anthony Verrelli and Assemblyman Herb Conaway, will now head to the Assembly floor for further consideration.

This committee hearing comes on the heels of a new Survivor Views survey by ACS CAN, which found that nearly half (49%) of cancer patients and survivors report being burdened by medical debt alongside some (13%) who report expecting to incur medical debt as part of their treatment plan. Read the full polling memo here.

The financial and health implications of medical debt for cancer patients and survivors are severe. Results from the Survivor Views survey show that an individual with cancer-related medical debt was three times more likely to be behind on recommended cancer screenings in comparison to those who have been able to pay for their care without accumulating debt. Nearly half (49%) saw their credit score decrease with 30% having difficulty qualifying for loans.

New Jersey lawmakers join several states in introducing legislation to reduce the impact of medical debt on patients and families. Proponents of A3861 are optimistic that the legislation will reduce the burden of medical debt on, among others, the groups to whom it has the harshest impact: individuals of color, young people and those with limited incomes.

“Medical debt directly impacts patients’ treatment as well as their willingness to seek future care. If we ignore this crisis, the repercussions will be widespread, endangering the health and economic wellbeing of countless New Jersey families,” said Quinton Law, Government Relations Director for ACS CAN in New Jersey. “The Louisa Carmen Medical Debt Relief Act provides our state with an opportunity to minimize the burden of medical debt on patients and their families. Cancer patients and survivors in New Jersey are counting on our legislators to act. ACS CAN strongly encourages the Assembly to pass the Louisa Carmen Medical Debt Relief Act, taking a significant step toward a society where no one's financial health is determined by their medical condition, and where medical debt does not impede the ability to prosper.”



The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) advocates for evidence-based public policies to reduce the cancer burden for everyone. We engage our volunteers across the country to make their voices heard by policymakers at every level of government. We believe everyone should have a fair and just opportunity to prevent, detect, treat, and survive cancer. Since 2001, as the American Cancer Society’s nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, ACS CAN has successfully advocated for billions of dollars in cancer research funding, expanded access to quality affordable health care, and advanced proven tobacco control measures. We stand with our volunteers, working to make cancer a top priority for policymakers in cities, states and our nation’s capital. Join the fight by visiting

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