Watch CBS News

St. Paul to use $1 million in federal funds to help residents with medical debt

Some St. Paul residents will see medical debt relief
Some St. Paul residents will see medical debt relief 00:36

ST. PAUL, Minn. — People living in St. Paul with medical debt will see some relief in the new year thanks to the budget passed Wednesday. 

The budget will put around $1 million of federal money towards buying off upwards of $100 million in medical debt. 

The nonprofit RIP Medical Debt offers to buy medical debt, lifting the weight of debt off of patients. The federal money will go to the nonprofit, which then pays about a dollar for every hundred dollars owed.

RELATED: New law requires hospitals to inform patients of financial assistance before collecting medical debt

Those who qualify will have household incomes within 4% of the federal poverty guidelines. Residents who have medical debt totaling 5% or more of their household income will also qualify. 

A law passed earlier this year in Minnesota requires hospitals to confirm if patients are eligible for financial assistance before any medical debt is sent to collections.  

A report by the Minnesota State Bar Association showed the median amount of money involved in medical debt cases brought to court in the state is $1,500.

A recent analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation found one in 10 adults in the United States owe at least $250 in medical debt.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.