In Kentucky and all across the United States, politicians and other leaders in health care continue to debate on how to make health care truly affordable and available for everyone. As the 2020 election draws nearer, this topic will likely only grow in importance for many Americans. In the meantime, too many everyday citizens struggle with how to pay for the medical care they or their loved ones need. 

Results of a study released earlier this year exposed just how serious the problem of medical debt in the U.S. really is. As reported by CNBC, the study found that an estimated 530,000 people sought relief via bankruptcy due, at least in part, to an unmanageable level of medical debt. Of all people included in the study, the cost of health care was cited as a factor in their bankruptcy by two out of three people. 

In an interesting twist on the conversations regarding how to tackle medical debt, a non-profit organization founded by two entrepreneurs has provided much-needed relief to over 500,000 people since its inception in 2014. Becker’s Hospital Review explains that two men took their experiences as medical collectors to heart to create RIP Medical Debt. 

The organization seeks medical debt owed by people meeting one of two criteria. One criterion is a total amount of health care costs amounting to more than five percent of their annual income. An annual income more than two times lower than the poverty level also qualifies a person’s account for inclusion in the program. RIP Medical Debt purchases outstanding debt, pays it off and then informs consumers that their debt has been satisfied.