Toledo, Ohio Passes $240 Million Medical Debt Cancellation Plan

And while Grim says she doesn’t think there’s anything particularly worse about Toledo’s medical debt landscape, she knows the issue is urgent nationwide — 41% of American adults have some sort of medical or dental debt, according to a 2022 study by the Kaiser Family Foundationand she thinks debt relief could be a game-changer for residents.

“We have a broken healthcare system,” Grim said. “We let people suffer, avoid medical care because they can’t afford it, and that’s a real shame. As a local legislator, I can’t fix this system, but I can help people put food back on the table.

RIP Medical Debt will purchase debt based on two separate criteria: if the person earns less than four times the federal poverty level and if the debts are five percent or more of their annual income. The non-profit organization also only focuses on pre-qualified debt through their partners, which means they work with select hospitals and health networks, so not all practices can be eligible for forgiveness. Affected residents will receive letters with the amount that has been forgiven, after local authorities have signed their contracts with the organization.

Grim also hopes it will help Toledo and Lucas County’s economic recovery. “Medical debt has been going on for as long as our healthcare system has existed,” she said. “Washington may not have a medical debt relief plan, but Toledo, Ohio does.”

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