Michigan State Legislature Partners with Nonprofit to Eliminate Medical Debt 

By Consumers for Quality Care, on April 3, 2024

Michigan State Legislature Partners with Nonprofit to Eliminate Medical Debt 

This year, the Michigan state budget includes a $4.5 million appropriation that is estimated to provide $450 million in medical debt relief for 180,000 state residents. This debt relief will come as part of a partnership between the state and the nonprofit organization RIP Medical Debt, according to Michigan Advance

Senate Appropriations Chair Sarah Anthony (D-Lansing) led the budget negotiation efforts to directly help those burdened by medical debt. “And one of the things that we had heard about at coffee hours and in the grocery store, and in our own families, was this concept of medical debt,” said Senator Anthony. “Something that was hamstringing the pocketbooks of men and women in almost every corner of our state and across the country… And this is one big initiative that we led on.” 

A $4.5 million investment made by the state of Michigan can eliminate hundreds of millions of dollars in medical debt, thanks to the work of RIP Medical Debt. The nonprofit organization operates by negotiating with health care providers to buy medical debt for a fraction of the cost. 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.    

States like Connecticut, New Jersey, and numerous other cities and counties have taken similar measures to help wipe out medical debt for residents in need. 

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, and in some cases, 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.