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Orange County leaders delay vote on plan to take on millions in medical debt

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Orange County Commissioners tabled approval of a contract on Tuesday that would have cleared medical debt for more than 150,000 residents.

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Commissioners were considering whether to approve the contract for a third-party facilitator to oversee the debt relief program.

In February, the Board of Commissioners authorized the use of $4.5 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds to clear more than $400 million worth of medical debt held at Orlando Health and AdventHealth for eligible Orange County residents.

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Eligible residents would include those who have experienced negative economic impacts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which disproportionately affected low-income residents.

At Tuesday’s meeting, commissioners said they weren’t opposed to the program but had additional questions for the non-profit organization that would oversee the initiative, “Medical Debt Resolution, Inc.”

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After receiving an update on the implementation of the plan, the board agreed to delay a decision on the contract until the company could answer some of those questions in person at a future meeting.

According to the agreement, Medical Debt Resolution Inc. would administer the program, abolishing an estimated $424 million in medical debt for approximately 154,593 Orange County residents.

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Medical Debt Resolutions would then notify the eligible residents that their debt was abolished.

The county’s Community and Family Services Department would oversee the project, including the review and approval of invoices submitted by Medical Debt Resolution, Inc.

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