New York City residents may soon have their medical debt eliminated thanks to a partnership with a non-profit organization known as RIP Medical Debt. RIP Medical Debt purchases medical debt from hospitals at steep discounts and erases it. New York City plans to invest $18 million to clear approximately $2 billion in unpaid medical bills, a move that could potentially help 500,000 New Yorkers.
There is no application process to apply for the program. Instead selected individuals will be notified that their debts have been relieved. The program will target New Yorkers whose medical bills are at least 5% of their annual household income or individuals in households with an income that is 4 times below the federal poverty line.
The program will launch early this year and run for approximately three years.
In a statement, New York City Mayor Eric Adams said the following:
“No one chooses to go into medical debt— if you're sick or injured, you need to seek care. But no New Yorker should have to choose between paying rent or for other essentials and paying off their medical debt.”
According to data, 4 in 10 American adults have some type of medical debt. In addition, medical debt is the single largest cause of bankruptcy in the U.S.
What are your thoughts on this medical debt relief initiative? Do you think more cities will follow suit?