Loyola Medicine, Cook County and Undue Medical Debt Partner to Abolish More Than $112m in Medical Debt  — Undue Medical Debt
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Loyola Medicine, Cook County and Undue Medical Debt Partner to Abolish More Than $112m in Medical Debt 

Majority of Abolishment Attributed to Cook County Medical Debt Relief Initiative, Providing $80M in Relief to over 44,000 Residents 

MAYWOOD, IL – Loyola Medicine, Undue Medical Debt, a national non-profit, and Cook County’s Medical Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI), have reached an agreement that will result in the erasure of $112.12 million worth of non-Medicare/Medicaid medical debt for Loyola’s patients in 2024.  

In the Catholic Jesuit tradition, Loyola is committed to providing healthcare services to all patients. With a commitment to patients and communities, Loyola has partnered with Undue Medical Debt, to examine and acquire accounts for erasure that are over two years old, with individuals making at or below 400% of the federal poverty level or medical debt representing more than five percent of an individual’s annual household income. More than 60,000 Loyola patients qualified for medical debt relief. Undue Medical Debt branded envelopes will arrive in the mail to those benefiting from medical debt relief. 

Cook County’s Medical Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI) was a significant contributor to this partnership, with over 44,000 beneficiaries receiving nearly $80.5 million of medical debt relief through the Loyola partnership. Since the program’s launch in 2022, Cook County’s MDRI has now abolished over $382 million in medical debt for more than 213,000 Cook County residents.

“Cook County is committed to alleviating the burden of medical debt on our residents,” said Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. “Through the Medical Debt Relief Initiative, we have been able to provide substantial financial relief to over 213,000 individuals, including more than 44,000 through our partnership with Loyola Medicine. Today represents a critical step in our ongoing efforts to promote economic stability and health equity across Cook County communities.” 

Undue Medical Debt is a nonprofit that acquires medical debts belonging to individuals who are financially burdened and then abolishes those debts. Medical debt relief cannot be requested and is source-based, meaning Undue can abolish debts only for past-due accounts belonging to provider partners like Loyola Medicine. Undue has two criteria for relief: individual or family income cannot be more than four times the federal poverty level and/or the individual’s medical debt must be five percent or more of that person’s gross annual income.  

Loyola does not sell medical debt and never reports medical debt to credit bureaus or sends accounts to collections. Loyola is committed to working with patients to ensure they have sustainable health coverage; its financial counseling team helps patients navigate all public and private health coverage options.   

In 2024, the federal poverty guideline is $15,060 a year for an individual plus $5,380 for each additional family member. “Working directly with providers like Loyola Medicine is an amazing win-win-win scenario,” said Undue Medical Debt President and CEO Allison Sesso. “Our valued hospital partner is compensated for some of the care it provided (without having to sell accounts to a debt collector), patients are relieved of the financial and emotional burden of debt they can’t pay, and communities are uplifted as a result.” 

“Our unwavering commitment to care for the whole person – body, mind and spirit – drives us,” asserted Shawn Vincent, President and CEO of Loyola Medicine. “We understand that medical debt can be a daunting challenge for our patients. Our partnership with Undue and Cook County’s Medical Debt Relief Initiative empowers us to relieve our patients of their medical debt to Loyola Medicine while simultaneously recovering a portion of that debt. This enables us to continue providing exceptional care to our patients and communities in a confident, responsible and sustainable manner.”

Abolishment Details: 

  • Undue purchased 60,900 past due accounts from Loyola Medicine. The accounts totaled $112.12 million in face value. 
  • Per Undue’s criteria, these accounts belong to those currently least able to pay. 
  • The top five counties where medical debt is being abolished by this partnership are: Cook, DuPage, Will, Lake and Kane. 
  • Undue is not a collection agency and will not attempt to recoup any payment from families or individuals. There are no strings attached; the debt for the qualifying accounts is fully abolished. 
  • This relief does not apply to debt individuals may owe to providers other than Loyola Medicine. 

Recipients of debt relief will be notified by letter in an envelope from Undue Medical Debt (Cook County residents will receive a letter from Undue and Cook County) starting the week of July 1. Once the individual receives the letter there is no further action they need to take. 

Undue has previously collaborated with other hospitals and healthcare systems, including Trinity Health Of New England and other healthcare providers. 

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About Loyola Medicine  

Loyola Medicine, a member of Trinity Health, is a nationally ranked academic, quaternary care system based in Chicago’s western suburbs. The three-hospital system includes Loyola University Medical Center (LUMC), Gottlieb Memorial HospitalMacNeal Hospital, as well as convenient locations offering primary care, specialty care and immediate care services from nearly 2,000 physicians throughout Cook, Will and DuPage counties. LUMC is a 547-licensed-bed hospital in Maywood that includes the William G. and Mary A. Ryan Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine, the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, the John L. Keeley, MD, Emergency Department, a Level 1 trauma center, Illinois’s largest burn center, a certified comprehensive stroke centertransplant center and a children’s hospital. Having delivered compassionate care for over 50 years, Loyola also trains the next generation of caregivers through its academic affiliation with Loyola University Chicago’s Stritch School of Medicine and Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. Established in 1961, Gottlieb Memorial Hospital is a 247-licensed-bed community hospital in Melrose Park that includes the Judd A. Weinberg Emergency Department, the Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric CareLoyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Centeracute rehabilitation, a transitional care center, childcare center and fitness centerMacNeal Hospital is a 374-licensed-bed teaching hospital in Berwyn with advanced medical, surgical and psychiatric services and a 68-bed behavioral health program.  

For more information, visit loyolamedicine.org. You can also follow Loyola Medicine on LinkedInFacebookInstagram or X (formerly known as Twitter).  

About Trinity Health  

Trinity Health is one of the largest not-for-profit, Catholic health care systems in the nation. It is a family of 121,000 colleagues and nearly 36,500 physicians and clinicians caring for diverse communities across 27 states. Nationally recognized for care and experience, the Trinity Health system includes 101 hospitals, 126 continuing care locations, the second largest PACE program in the country, 136 urgent care locations and many other health and well-being services. In fiscal year 2023, the Livonia, Michigan-based health system invested $1.5 billion in its communities in the form of charity care and other community benefit programs. For more information, visit us at www.trinity-health.org, or follow us on LinkedInFacebook, and X (formerly known as Twitter).  

About Cook County

Cook County is the second-largest county in the United States, representing 5.2 million residents in Illinois. The President of the Cook County Board of Commissioners is the chief executive officer (CEO) of Cook County and oversees the Offices Under the President (OUP). For more information on the Cook County Medical Debt Relief Initiative’ please visit: arpa.cookcountyil.gov/medical-debt-relief-initiative