Too Much Medical Debt?

If you missed the information last week about medical debt being removed from credit reports, scroll down and read that article. Today, let’s talk about RIP Medical Debt, a charity organization.

So far, 3,619,950 individuals and families have had their medical bills paid for, adding up to $6,748,483,828 in debt PAID OFF by RIP Medical Debt.

RIP Medical Debt buys portfolios of debt from hospitals and other secondary sources, then they select the ones who are in the most dire need, and pay off the debt for them. In addition, they remove the debt from their credit reports. This is in compliance with all federal and state laws. This does not create “taxable income” for the person, so there is no Form 1099-C with the IRS.

Their criteria for selection looks like this:

  • The recipient must earn less than 2x the federal poverty level. (The income amount varies by state and family size. You can Google search your state.)
  • The medical debt is at least 5 percent of the family’s annual income.

You do not apply for this relief yourself, but it might be possible for you to ask your hospital if they are familiar with RIP Medical Debt, or if they might get it touch.

If you don’t qualify for RIP Medical Debt help, here are some tips about handling medical bills:

  1. Never pay with a credit card UNLESS you can afford to pay off the credit card bill when the statement arrives. Use your credit card as a convenience, not as a tool to go into debt hell that might lead to eventual bankruptcy.
  2. Ask the hospital for financial assistance. You can do this even if your stay was a year ago.
  3. When you apply for assistance, let them know about other large bills you have. That is an important factor in receiving help. You might qualify even if you have a good income due to debt-to-income ratio.
  4. If you cannot get financial assistance, ask for a payment plan.
  5. Don’t stop taking the medications you need or getting the medical care you need if you cannot afford payment. Your health, your staying alive is more important than money. “People over money” always!

For more information about RIP Medical Debt and/or to make a donation to this charity, see here.

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