January 22, 2024

New York – New York City Mayor Eric Adams and New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan today announced a pioneering medical debt relief program, that will invest $18 million over three years to relieve over $2 billion in medical debt for hundreds of thousands of working-class New Yorkers. Medical debt – the number one cause of bankruptcy in the United States – disproportionately affects uninsured, under-insured, and low-income households, and the city’s program would wipe out debt for up to 500,000 New Yorkers on a one-time basis. The city will partner with RIP Medical Debt, a national, New York City-based nonprofit specializing in buying and ultimately wiping out medical debt to acquire debt portfolios and retiree debt from health care providers and hospitals across New York City. Affected New Yorkers will then be notified that their medical debt has been relieved; there is no application process for this program. The one-time debt relief program, the largest municipal initiative of its kind in the country, will launch in early 2024 and run for three years.