Gov. Pritzker Highlights Proposal to Eliminate $1B in Medical Debt

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Health

Governor JB Pritzker joined Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle, the Department of Healthcare and Family Services, and advocates to highlight the State’s proposed $10 million investment to eliminate up to $1 billion in medical debt for 340,000 low-income Illinoisans. In partnership with Cook County, which already implemented a similar program for county residents, the event aimed to garner support for legislation that will fund a debt relief program statewide. Undue Medical Debt acquires medical debts belonging to: individuals four times or below the federal poverty level or those whose medical debt is five percent or more of their annual income. Debt is acquired in large portfolios for a fraction of their face value and then recipients of debt relief are notified with a branded envelope letting them know the good news: some or all of their medical debt has been erased. Beginning in FY25 with a $10 million appropriation, the State can provide nearly $1 billion in medical debt relief for the first cohort of 340,000 Illinois residents. Loyola Medicine also recently announced they are joining the State’s efforts and forgiving over $112 million in medical debt for past and current patients, which will impact more than 60,000 Illinoisans.

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