Medical Debt Compromises Health
At home in DuPage County, 13% of our neighbors have medical debt in collections, and 20% of communities of color. Every day 79 million Americans choose between paying medical bills and meeting basic needs like food and shelter. (click here to read KHN report about medical debt in America).
Knowing that medical debt can be crippling to limited income families, we recently invited our Access DuPage members to tell us their medical debt stories, and hundreds responded to our request. Full results can be found here. 62% of respondents reported household debt, and 26% of households reported medical debt of $5K or greater. 88% of respondents said that they would like more help getting this debt forgiven; we hope this project will be a meaningful start.
Working together with the same partners who make our healthcare programs possible, we will soon be offering individualized help to local families to get existing debt forgiven, and practical tools (in collaboration with HOME DuPage) to help families plan for a better financial future. At the same time, we will be working alongside our medical community to identify ways to better address unaffordable medical expenses before they affect family’s health and credit. We believe this program will be transformational (or RAD as described by one partner 😊) and we can’t wait to get started. We hope you will join us!