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Foundation Releases Toolkit to Help Members with Medical Debt
Wednesday, May 20, 2015 6:40 AM

medical Tool Kit

Credit unions looking for information and tools to help members with medical debt now have an added aid, a Medical Debt Toolkit, recently released from the National Credit Union Foundation.

According to a 2012 health insurance survey by the Commonwealth Fund, 75 million people or 41 percent of working aged adults experienced medical bill problems. The same survey found that 48 million or 26 percent of working age adults had a medical debt or were paying off a medical bill over time.

"Part of improving people's financial lives is to meet them where they are in life," notes Gigi Hyland, the Foundation's executive director. "Medical debt is a widespread problem that can create havoc with people's financial lives. Often, members with medical debt are also experiencing broader financial problems and need assistance not only to address their medical debt issues but also other aspects of their finances."

"In fact," writes the Foundation's Mark Lynch in the toolkit's introduction, "Medical debt is the leading cause of personal bankruptcy in the United States. Yet medical debt tends to be talked about much less than credit card debt, mortgage debt, and student loan debt."

This new Medical Debt Toolkit from the Foundation contains information collected from a range of sources and provides credit union staff with a framework to identify medical debt issues and help members resolve their medical debt. It also provides information on how staff can help members quickly reduce or at least limit some medical bills.

Courtney Moran, executive director for the Cornerstone Credit Union Foundation, commented on the new resource for credit unions. "The Cornerstone Foundation commends the National Foundation for continually identifying consumer issues that prevent our credit union members from reaching financial freedom," she said. "We look forward to disseminating this invaluable information to our credit unions and community partners in the Cornerstone region."  

The toolkit is available to credit unions free of charge at

Upcoming CUNA Webinar

Related to the new toolkit, the Foundation is holding a webinar in partnership with CUNA CPD on June 14, 2015, titled "Counseling members with medical debt." More information on the webinar is here.