Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont says state will be first to cancel medical debt for all eligible residents – saimmalik

Connecticut will cancel medical debt for all eligible residents, its governor introduced on Friday, making it the primary state to take action.

Gov. Ned Lamont mentioned throughout an look on “Good Morning America” that the state would erase medical debt for thousands of residents who qualify beneath a brand new initiative that intends to assist raise folks from an usually large monetary burden.

“This isn’t one thing they did the place they had been spending an excessive amount of cash. It is because they received hit with a medical emergency, and they need to not must endure twice: first for the sickness, then with the debt,” Lamont mentioned.

Eligible residents won’t have to use for the reduction because the state will work straight with a contracted company to eradicate medical money owed.

This reduction ought to go into impact by June, the state mentioned.

Those that finally have their debt cleared may also not have any related tax burden, because the state mentioned the IRS doesn’t depend medical debt canceled by way of nonprofits as taxable revenue.

Based on “GMA,” qualifying residents embody these “whose family revenue is as much as 400% of the federal poverty line (for a household of 4, that’s $156,000 yearly) or whose medical debt equates to five% or extra of their annual revenue will likely be eligible beneath this system.”

Gov. Ned Lamont says Connecticut will cancel all medical debt for eligible residents. AP

The brand new state plan intends to leverage $6.5 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds to erase roughly $1 billion in medical debt, Lamont mentioned.

The governor initially introduced the proposal on the identical day final 12 months, tying the reduction to COVID-related funds.

“A number of state and native governments have seen vital success at canceling medical debt for his or her residents utilizing this mannequin, and I feel that is completely the appropriate method to make use of this COVID-recovery funding,” Lamont mentioned on Feb. 2, 2023.

He added: “This initiative won’t solely assist Connecticut residents who’re saddled with debt financially, however it additionally lifts the numerous emotional toll that this kind of debt has on people who would not have the means to get out, particularly for many who are concurrently experiencing vital medical issues. This debt erasure will put hundreds of thousands of {dollars} again into the Connecticut economic system and supply an financial stimulus to native communities.”

Almost 1 in 5 households throughout the U.S. have at the very least some medical debt, in response to the U.S. Census Bureau. The median quantity owed is $2,000.

Whereas Connecticut is hoping to develop into the primary state to erase medical debt, a number of cities, together with New York Metropolis, New Orleans and Pittsburgh, have additionally introduced or carried out comparable plans.

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