22,000 Ingham County, Michigan Households to Have Medical Debt Eliminated 

By Consumers for Quality Care, on April 9, 2024

22,000 Ingham County, Michigan Households to Have Medical Debt Eliminated 

The Ingham County Board of Commissioners recently announced a partnership with the nonprofit organization RIP Medical Debt to bring immediate financial relief to thousands of residents carrying medical debt, according to WILX, the NBC affiliate in Lansing. Armed with a budget surplus this year, the commissioners voted to allocate $250,000 towards medical debt relief, with the State of Michigan providing matching funds.  

“22,000 households will have their outstanding medical debt completely eliminated,” according to Ingham County Commissioner Gabrielle Lawrence.  

To provide this debt relief, county officials will partner with RIP Medical Debt, which will negotiate with health care providers to buy medical debt for pennies on the dollar. To maximize the value of impact, all debt is bought in bulk, and debt relief is provided en masse, so that consumers do not need to submit individual applications.    

Daniel Lempert, a representative for RIP Medical Debt, says that government officials on both the county and state level are interested in partnering with his organization. “We were approached by the county, and actually, there’s a lot of interest in Michigan, and as you know, they’ve alluded, there’s also interest at the state level,” said Lempert. Oakland County and Kalamazoo County in Michigan are among those that have initiated talks with RIP Medical Debt. 

The negative effects of medical debt cannot be understated. For many, medical debt increases stress, wreaks havoc on credit scores, causes consumers to delay necessary medical care. In some cases, medical debt even forces consumers to file for bankruptcy. Removing this burden will go a long way toward lifting many consumers out of dire financial circumstances.   

CQC applauds these efforts but urges the nation’s elected leaders to address the root causes of medical debt and put protections in place for consumers.