Learn - RIP Medical Debt
We inform and deepen policy conversations about making our nation’s health care financing system more equitable and affordable.

What’s New

Trapped: America’s Crippling Medical Debt Crisis

Over 100 million people living in America, one in three, struggle with the weight of medical debt.

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and RIP Medical Debt sponsored a national survey to explore these issues and shed light on patients’ experiences and attitudes towards medical debt – and potential policy solutions. The poll was conducted by PerryUndem, a non-partisan research firm.

New research on the burden of medical debt from RIP and NTFP
Brief 1 Insurance Alone is Not Enough
Brief 2 Medical Debt, Money, and Mental Health
Brief 3 Physical, Mental or Financial Health? The Impossible Tradeoff of U.S. Healthcare – A Qualitative Analysis

New Blog

Health Equity Crisis: The Impact of Medical Debt on Women

J.D. from Georgia had no health insurance but had heart issues that required a trip to the ER. When J.D. received a letter in the mail informing her that her outstanding $826.72 of medical debt was erased, she reached out to RIP Medical Debt to share her experience, commenting that when she was in the ER she “had just moved out of a shelter with my children and didn’t have much funds other than to pay for rent and utilities.” She couldn’t afford the bill for her visit, but also didn’t have the resources and couldn’t navigate setting up a payment plan, noting, “I planned on setting up payments, but was never able to as I was still adjusting to being a single mother after my divorce.” Years went by, her credit was impacted, and she was even pursued with a subpoena for the medical bill.

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More than 100 million U.S. adults struggle with healthcare debt. There is more than $195 billion owed nationwide.

Medical debt is woven into our health care financing system and our economy. Our mission is to end medical debt. We have a unique model in that it combines the generosity of donors with debt industry expertise to produce a high volume of medical debt relief. The debt relief we provide reduces mental and financial distress for millions of people, removing a barrier to accessing the health care they need.

Nearly 1/2
of U.S. adults struggle to afford healthcare costs. For Black, Hispanic and low-income adults that figure jumps to at least six in ten.
greater likelihood that individuals with debt also have a mental health problem such as anxiety, stress, or depression.

Policy Domains

1 —
Affordable and comprehensive coverage.
2 —
Easy access to and enrollment in financial assistance programs.
3 —
Banning extraordinary collection actions and monitoring medical debt.

Beneficiary Stories

Our policy priorities reflect the experiences of our constituents. We are committed to centering the voices and stories of our constituents’ priorities as we work to influence policy and systems changes that end medical debt. Read about the people RIP Medical Debt has helped through our donor-supported model.

Policy Resources