Even with the passage of multiple bills and the revamping of the U.S. healthcare system, millions of us have medical debt, and, for some of us, that debt is crippling. Though for 108,000 of these debtors, they recently had their medical debts paid-off.
RIP Medical Debt
According to the Associated Press, the Fair Fight Political Action Committee donated $1.34 million to RIP Medical Debt. This organization specializes in buying medical debt bundles at huge discounts from the debt’s face value, often from medical debt collection agencies. These agencies have, usually, been harassing debtors for months, sometimes, even years. They then forgive the medical debt, and to-date they have eliminated over $5 billion in medical debt.
Eliminating medical debt
The $1.34 million will be used to pay-off $212 million of medical debt for over 100,000 residents of Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi. Unfortunately, Indiana was not included in the debt pay-off bonanza. This breaks down to about 2,00 people in Alabama and Mississippi, 27,000 in Arizona, 69,000 in Georgia and 8,000 in Louisiana. Everyone will receive a letter about their debt pay-off.
Targeting Medicaid non-expansion states
Apparently, the donation is being targeted at the 12 states (including, Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi) that have not expanded Medicaid coverage to poorer adults. They are advocating for that expansion and point to the fact that the U.S. federal government has allocated funds specifically for this reason.
Crushing medical debt
Medical costs put families in debt that only increases over time. This is especially problematic through the south and Midwest. To add insult to injury, when one cannot pay, the hospitals and medical care providers sell the debt to collection agencies, who then harass them for years until the debt is paid off or can no longer be collected. Sometimes, the collection agencies continue their debt pursuit, even after the debt is no longer legally enforceable.
What if one is not so lucky?
Unless one’s debt was in one of the states listed above, no one in Indianapolis, Indiana, will have their medical debt eliminated. Though, this does not mean that we are without options. Indeed, bankruptcy is sometimes the best way to eliminate all of one’s medical debt and get a fresh financial start.