Charity Plans to Buy Debt Owed to Hospital by 82,000 Low-Income Patients


RIP Medical Debt is partnering with Ballad Health to pay off $278 million of pending hospital bills. In the process, the New York-based charity will free approximately 82,000 people from debt they owe to hospitals.

According to the Wall Street Journal, many who owed money to Ballad Health — which operates hospitals in Virginia and Tennessee — qualified for free care under its policy, but didn’t apply for it.

In addition to its partnership with Ballad, RIP Medical Debt hopes to reach deals with other medical facilities, helping remove the burden of medical bills for low-income families.

Since the founding of RIP Medical Debt in 2014, it’s relieved more than $4.5 billion in outstanding bills. According to their website, their efforts have helped over 2.6 million families so far.

RIP Medical Debt executive director Allison Sesso told ABC News the charity does not individually select which patients get their debt forgiven. “It’s blind,” she said.

However, to qualify, patients must not earn above 200% of the poverty line, or about $43,000.

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