$130M in medical debt to be eliminated for San Mateo County residents in need

in Community

A total of 72,399 San Mateo County residents who received services at San Mateo Medical Center are set to have their medical debt canceled, amounting to a total of $135.4 million in debt. The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors voted to enter into an agreement with RIP Medical Debt, a nonprofit that locates, purchases and abolished unpaid and unpayable medical debts belonging to those experiencing financial hardship, according to the Peninsula Health Care District (PHCD), which piloted the program.

“Those who qualify for relief are either two times or below the federal poverty level or have debt that is five percent or more of their annual income,” according to the County.

More than 14,000 PHCD members will benefit from $29,3 million in debt cancelation as part of the County’s contract with RIP Medical Debt.

“Peninsula Health Care District is committed to serving the community in times of crisis,” says Lawrence W. Cappel, Ph.D., Chair of Board of Directors, Peninsula Health Care District. “Medical debt can cause generational financial and emotional distress and patient distrust in health care services, and many families are experiencing medical debt as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. RIP Medical Debt is a critical resource for San Mateo County.”