Maryland Advocates Launch Medical Debt Freedom Fund

Andy Spears
2 min readApr 21, 2021

The Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition (MCRC) announced today the launch of the Medical Debt Freedom Fund.

Here’s more on what it is and how it works:

The vicious circle linking health and poverty remains a challenge in Maryland. The rising cost of insurance coupled with an unexpected medical emergency can lead to medical debt — one of the biggest drivers of consumer debt today. Our Preying on Patients report found that Maryland hospitals, which are paid to provide free healthcare to low-income families, instead sued 145,746 low-income and working families to collect medical debts below $5000. As a result of hospitals’ pursuit of profit over patients’ financial well-being, 3278 Marylanders filed for bankruptcy, while another 37,370 had their wages garnished.

Medical debt prevents people from providing for their families, buying or keeping their homes, continuing needed care, and in extreme cases has led to bankruptcy and even arrest. The consequences of medical debt impact people of color the most, leaving lasting effects on families for generations and furthering racial wealth inequality.

Medical Debt Freedom Fund Launch

The Medical Debt Freedom Fund is a new campaign by MCRC with the goal of ending medical debt in Maryland. Through the Medical Debt Freedom Fund, our coalition is building a movement to free Maryland patients from crushing medical debt, end harassing calls from debt collectors, and provide former patients with the peace of mind to heal and recover without having to worry about paying a hospital bill they can’t afford. We are currently accepting applications to directly help former patients with medical debts $1000 or less.

To apply for medical debt relief, check your eligibility and fill out the form to apply for full or partial medical debt relief. We also need you to act today to erase hospital medical debt for low-income Maryland families by sharing the information, donating, sharing your story and endorsing the Medical Debt Freedom Fund.

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Andy Spears

Writer and policy advocate living in Nashville, TN —Public Policy Ph.D. — writes on education policy, consumer affairs, and more . . .