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Groups pay medical debts for nearly 10,000 in Michigan

Thousands of people in Michigan are getting a special gift this season: Their medical bills are being forgiven.

The Michigan Nurses Association has partnered with a New York-based not-for-profit to wipe clear the medical debts of 9,737 individuals and families in 40 northern Michigan counties.

The Traverse City Record-Eagle reported Friday the nurses’ union donated $12,500 to RIP Medical Debt, which combined it with other funding to cancel nearly $9 million worth of bills.

RIP acquires packages of overdue charges for a fraction of their value and forgives them. People chosen for the assistance are financially insolvent, have medical debts greater than 5% of their income or earn less than twice the federal poverty level.

The nurses’ association announced its participation Thursday during a Traverse City candlelight vigil.