On April 3, 2020, New York State Governor, Andrew Cuomo, signed New York’s 2021 Executive Budget into law which added § 213-d to New York’s Civil Practice Law and Rules (CPLR). Section 213-d reduced the Statute of Limitations on medical debt from six (6) to three (3) years in New York. This means that an action on a medical debt by a hospital licensed under article twenty-eight of the public health law or a health care professional authorized under title eight of the education law shall be commenced within three (3) years of treatment. This is not to be confused with “within three (3) years of refusal to pay” or “within three (3) years of default.”
While the amendment took effect immediately (i.e. April 3, 2020), the bill was silent as to whether the law would have retroactive effect. Under New York case law, a statute will generally not be applied retroactively unless the language of the amended statute expressly provided for retroactive treatment.
NY’s more recent enactment of the Consumer Credit Fairness Act (CCFA) reduced the Statute of Limitations for consumer debts (i.e. non-commercial debts) to three (3) years from six (6) years, with retroactive application.
Since medical debts have traditionally not been considered “consumer” debts, the question seemingly remains whether a medical debt incurred prior to April 3, 2020 may still be sued upon under the prior six (6) year window set forth by CPLR 213, or whether the enactment of the CCFA has finally reduced the Statute of Limitations to three (3) years once and for all. To date, it appears that no New York Court has addressed this issue.
Should you have an outstanding medical bill and need help navigating your rights and options, call one of our experienced debt defense attorneys today at (888) 801-7765, use our chat option, or fill out the form below. Our consultations are free and our rates are low. We can help to devise a plan of attack that best addresses your needs and save you money.