Life After Debt, a Michigan based non-profit, announced that it has successfully purchased and forgiven its first 1st million dollars in medical debt for Detroit and surrounding area residents. The non-profit was formed by a group of Detroit bankers looking to help families who struggle with mounting medical bills.
Like most debt, defaulted medical bills are bundled and sold on the secondary market for as little as a quarter of a penny on the dollar. Collection agencies (or “Debt Sharks”, as they are known) purchase this debt and call patients repeatedly, threatening and harassing them while they are still recovering, oftentimes even while they are still receiving treatment. Life After Debt (or LAD) negotiates purchases of this same debt but instead of collecting on it, forgives it entirely, with no strings attached.
“You shouldn’t have to choose between a broken leg and groceries,” said Carl Larson, founder of Life After Debt. “Comparison shopping medical care is impossible, unlike shopping for a car or a mortgage, and when your doctor says you need an X-ray, deciding how you’re going to pay for it shouldn’t be part of the thought process.” But that is a choice many American families are having to make, according to a recent study done by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It shows that almost 30 million Americans every year delay or ignore necessary medical care due to cost or past medical debt.
For more information on the issues surrounding medical debt, please contact RIP Medical Debt.