PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Sizable grants from CareOregon and SCAN, a not-for-profit healthcare coverage company based in California, will help a medical debt relief company erase $110 million worth of medical bills.
With $60,000 from statewide nonprofit healthcare organization CareOregon and $285,000 from SCAN, RIP Medical Debt will cover the medical debt of several residents in the states served by both organizations. This includes Arizona, California, Nevada, Texas, and, of course, Oregon.
According to CareOregon, all of the funding recipients earn a household income at or below 400% of federal poverty levels, or medical debt worth at least 5% of their annual household income.
Overall, SCAN CEO Dr. Sachin H. Jain says the money will benefit “tens of thousands of individuals.”
CareOregon reports that the organization and SCAN have led the charge as the first health plans to directly fund privately-held medical debt relief.
“The devastating impact of medical debt reaches far beyond the lives of individuals and families carrying it but also threatens the health and well-being of our communities,” CareOregon President and CEO Eric Hunter added in a statement.
Hunter went on to cite a Public Interest Research Group study, which reported that medical debt led to at least 60% of Oregon’s Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy filings in 2019.
More recently in April 2023, Oregon House lawmakers passed a bill aimed at providing financial assistance to residents who struggle to pay for medical care. House Bill 3320 would fully or partially fund healthcare services for Oregonians who are uninsured, registered for the state medical assistance program or have medical bills over $500.
This measure awaits its second reading in the Oregon Senate. If passed, the bill could join RIP Medical Debt in providing financial assistance for low-income residents.
The national medical debt relief nonprofit says it will notify grant recipients by mail within the next few weeks.