A Bold Approach to Alleviate Medical Debt
How a local government is investing in its citizens
Should a family go into debt — or even be forced to declare bankruptcy — just because someone got sick?
The reality of medical debt can be devastating — crushing family budgets and adding stress that takes an emotional and physical toll.
The City of Toledo recently took action that could help alleviate the pain of medical debt for as many as 41,000 area residents.
The Toledo Blade notes:
Toledo City Council voted Wednesday 7–5 to approve $800,000 in ARPA funds for the program with RIP Medical Debt, creators of the charity that buys bad debt from hospitals and discharges the liability.
At least 41,000 people carry medical debt in Lucas County. They are targets of collection efforts. Without the help supplied by RIP Medical Debt, their options are to slow pay or not pay at all, further damaging their ability get credit in the future.
Lucas County and Toledo are not an anomaly when it comes to medical debt.
A Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) report indicates Americans have $88 billion in medical debt in collections on their credit reports.
What is exciting, though, is that Toledo is taking action — buying medical debt for pennies on the dollar and providing relief for thousands.
Reports indicate that with a combined investment of $1.6 million, Toledo and Lucas County could purchase as much as $200 million in medical debt.
In the long-term, medical debt simply should NOT be a thing — no one should go into debt or be forced into bankruptcy because of an illness.
In the meantime, programs like this one out of Toledo can offer hope to citizens.
Moreover, with relief from medical debt, the families helped by this plan will have funds available that will serve to boost the community’s economy.
Toledo is investing in its people and the ROI looks to be pretty significant.
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