How Do You Get A Medical Debt Forgiven?
Millions of Americans have unpaid medical bills on their credit reports and are living the consequences of having medical healthcare debt every day. Still, is there a way to get rid of these debts even if you can’t afford to pay them?
With roughly a tenth of the US population having medical debts in collection and the country facing significant economic fallout from COVID-19, now may be the ideal time to explore the option of medical debt forgiveness – if you qualify.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the forgiveness process and outline some of the eligibility criteria you need to meet in order to qualify. We’ll also list some of the organizations that offer medical debt relief for your consideration.
Medical Debt Stats And Facts
Unpaid healthcare bills are becoming more common in the United States. Approximately 10% of Americans have medical debts in collection, $75 billion in unpaid doctors and hospital bills recorded in 2017 alone.
These delinquent accounts are paid just 7.4% of the time, highlighting the difficulty that many patients encounter when settling their medical debts.
- The current COVID-19 pandemic has made visits to the hospital visits a part of daily life for many people – and this could add to many people’s debt burden.
- However most patients don’t owe that much in medical debt. 72.6% of delinquent accounts are for amounts under $1000.
If your medical debt isn’t too large and you’ve fallen behind on your payments, there could be a way for you to be released from your obligations.
Several organizations in the United States offer debt forgiveness programs and if your income is around the federal poverty level - or slightly higher in some cases - you may qualify. Alternatively, you may want to pay down your debt using a lending product like LendingPoint medical loans.
Let’s take a look at three of these programs in more detail.
RIP Medical Debt
Healthcare providers often sell their delinquent debts to collection agencies - and if you’ve ever been contacted by these organizations you know just how persistent and sometimes unpleasant they can be.
RIP Medical Debt is an organization that compensates healthcare providers for the bad debts just like a collection agency. Yet, instead of harassing you to pay the debt they simply cancel it.
- If your income is less than twice the federal poverty level you may qualify for assistance from this organization.
- You need to meet the full list of criteria which you’ll find on their website. You can also apply online to have your debt forgiven.
Remember, if your application to an organization like RIP Medical Debt isn’t successful, you can still repay your debts by borrowing the funds you need. FreedomPlus loans are an excellent option worth considering.
Every NGO has a limited budget and can only help a certain number of people per year. There are two more financial assistance organizations you may want to consider if you’d like to have your debt forgiven.
This well-known organization assists patients who are underinsured to either pay their medical bills if they are current or seek debt forgiveness if their debts are deep in arrears or in collection.
In order to qualify for consideration you’ll need to meet all the program requirements:
- You must be currently under treatment for the medical condition that your bill relates to.
- You’ll need to be insured for Medicaid.
- Patients with incomes at or below the federal poverty level are the most likely to be accepted.
If your treatment ended a while ago or if you earn too much to qualify for assistance, you can always finance your debt repayments. OneMain loans for medical treatment may be a good place to start looking.
Patients diagnosed with all forms of cancer can turn to this organization for information and financial assistance. While they don’t advertise a debt forgiveness program as such, they certainly offer financial support to qualifying patients.
- The organization’s website provides a comprehensive database of grants, financing options, and information regarding all types of cancer-related expenses.
- You can apply for financial assistance for the cost of treatment itself as well as associated costs like home care, transportation and wigs for chemotherapy patients who require them.
- You’ll need to live in the US, be under treatment for cancer at present, and meet CancerCare’s income requirement which is based on the federal poverty line.
Millions of Americans have medical debts in collection. If you’re one of them, you may be able to have your delinquent healthcare bills forgiven.
Organizations like RIP Medical Debt, the PAN Foundation, and CancerCare all offer their own financial assistance programs. You’ll need to have an income that’s not much higher than the federal poverty level in order to qualify - along with specific criteria that are unique to each organization.
If you don’t manage to get financial assistance from these types of organizations, you can always explore your lending options - especially medical loans - to settle your bills for good.