A screenshot of Keith Hearle, senior advisor for RIP Medical Debt speaking to the Cleveland City Council Finance, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee on Monday, April 24, 2023.
Keith Hearle, senior advisor for RIP Medical Debt, talks to the committee. Credit: Cleveland City Council YouTube

Covered by Documenter Kathryn Johnson

What happened: Cleveland City Council members learned the details of how $1.9 million of American Rescue Plan Act money would be used to wipe away medical debt for thousands of Clevelanders. RIP Medical Debt, a national nonprofit, will run the program, which council approved at its meeting that evening. People are eligible if they are Cleveland residents and fit one of the following criteria:

About 81% of Cleveland residents are estimated to meet the income requirement, according to Keith Hearle, a senior advisor for RIP Medical Debt. Officials believe the $1.9 million could help about 50,000 residents.

Waiting on hospitals: Hearle explained that RIP Medical Debt enters agreements with hospitals. It is still discussing the program with Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals, and MetroHealth, he said.

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Assignment Editor (he/him)
Doug, a Cleveland Documenter since 2020, has been a copy editor and reporter. His work includes: The Pace of Passage about how quickly Cleveland City Council passes legislation; a look at the challenges of the city’s Exterior Home Paint program; and University Circle Police Department’s complaint-review process. Doug has also written explainers and guides and launched #CLEDocsAnswers, which answers questions Documenters have about local government.