Gov. Katie Hobbs partners with nonprofit to free 1M Arizonans from medical debt

Mar 5, 2024, 4:15 AM

Medical debt relief program to forgive 1M Arizonans' debts...

Gov. Katie Hobbs announced the launch of Affordable Arizona, a program to tackle medical debt, on Monday. (Arizona Governor's Office photo/via YouTube)

(Arizona Governor's Office photo/via YouTube)

PHOENIX — Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs announced the launch of a new medical debt relief program on Monday.

Around one million Arizonans will benefit from the program, which is called Affordable Arizona: Tackling Medical Debt for Working Families.

“Arizonans deserve a break,” Hobbs said in a statement. “They deserve a government that fights for them, helping ensure that medical debt is not going to torpedo their lives.”

How will the medical debt relief program work?

The governor’s office is partnering with a nonprofit called RIP Medical Debt to launch the program.

Hobbs will make $30 million in federal funds available to the nonprofit, which will use the funds to buy medical debts for pennies on the dollar.

Millions of Americans have already benefitted from the nonprofit’s work. People eligible for debt relief include those who owe medical bills equal to 5% or more of their annual income.

RIP Medical Debt’s website said it has cleared $10 billion in medical debt for American families.

There’s no way to apply for the program, though. Those who benefit from the program will receive a letter saying their debt was cleared, according to RIP Medical Debt’s website. There are also no tax consequences or costly penalties.

How will this benefit Arizonans?

“Feeling stuck in a hole with no way out can snowball into problems far beyond debt,” Hobbs said during a press conference on Monday.

This program will empower Arizonans to move forward from medically induced financial burdens, she added.

“This is a win-win that will give so many Arizonans a clean slate,” Hobbs said.

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Gov. Katie Hobbs partners with nonprofit to free 1M Arizonans from medical debt