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Medical Debt Press Conference

Apr 21, 2023

Cleveland (April 21, 2023) - Join Councilmembers at 1:30 pm Monday for a press conference on legislation that aims to eliminate more than $180 million in Clevelanders’ medical debt. Council’s action will result in the cancellation of inactive debt that may be affecting residents’ credit scores, making buying anything from a car, to a house, to a couch more expensive.

Medical debt also creates mental and emotional anguish and may be preventing Cleveland residents from seeking further healthcare. This legislation is expected to help about 50,000 Clevelanders. 

Also on hand will be a representative from RIP Medical Debt, the nonprofit organization the city will contract with to implement the medical debt forgiveness. RIP Medical Debt is known for its work with municipalities nationwide to eliminate medical debt. RIP Medical Debt buys large bundles of past due medical debt at one time for pennies on the dollar directly from providers like hospitals. 

Residents don’t apply. Instead as RIP Medical Debt buys more and more of the bundles of Clevelanders’ debt, residents will be notified via a branded RIP Medical Debt letter in the mail that their debt is eliminated and is off their credit report. 

Medical debt erasure is in line with Council’s commitment to resolving inequities, and this action brings tangible, direct help to Cleveland residents. Those eligible for medical debt abolishment must be city residents and have incomes at four times the poverty level or below or have medical debt that is 5% or more of their annual income. 

Who: Council members Kris Harsh, Charles Slife, Kevin Conwell, Rebecca Maurer, Richard Starr and Council President Blaine A. Griffin and Special Advisor Keith Hearle from RIP Medical Debt

What: Press conference on eliminating medical debt for nearly 50,000 Cleveland residents

When: 1:30 pm, Monday April 24th in the Mercedes Cotner Committee Room (217), 2ndFloor City Hall (601 Lakeside Ave.)