New Startup Hopes to Retire Medical Debt

With past-due medical debt affecting almost a quarter of Americans, it’s no surprise that several organizations and charities have arisen to help ease those who face high medical bills.  Even comedian John Oliver recently forgave 15 million dollars in past due medical debt for around 9000 patients.

According to Tech Crunch, one startup named “Better” hopes to retire medical debt in a similar way, although they supplement money raised by charging patients a small fee:

“When people use our service, we charge them 10 percent of the money they get back from their insurance. That is the money we are using to purchase and forgive the medical debt.”

Charities are often able to buy the outstanding debt at far lower rates than the original because the patients who owe money may never be able to pay back the full and original price.

[Better] has pledged to secure up to $16 million in medical debt from its revenue. While that seems like quite a large chunk to pledge, Better is able to buy the debt at a fraction of the original amount and says the final total will be closer to tens of thousands of dollars.

The emergence of medical debt charities may seem like Americans are trying to help those less fortunate, however it also highlights the overwhelming lack of coverage and healthcare security that so many in this country have.