Empowering Health Care Consumers

Project Title

Strengthening the Campaign to End Medical Debt in New York State

Grant Amount


Priority Area

Empowering Health Care Consumers

Date Awarded

September 29, 2022


Capital Region






Medical debt is a crushing burden for New Yorkers. A recent survey found that more than half of New Yorkers struggle to pay medical bills.

Low-income communities and communities of color outside of New York City have been particularly hard hit by medical debt, exacerbating existing health and socioeconomic inequities. A coalition of partners has run a successful End Medical Debt in New York campaign, with NYHealth and other philanthropic support, to advocate for solutions. In 2022, NYHealth awarded the Public Policy and Education Fund of New York (PPEF) a grant to advocate for policy changes that protect New Yorkers from unfair medical debt.

Under this grant, PPEF expanded its base of organizers and produced a unified communications plan. With previous NYHealth support, PPEF initiated grassroots organizing for the statewide campaign; this next phase both bolstered funding for organizations already engaged in the campaign and reached new partners. PPEF also formalized the campaign’s communications plan and shared communications tools with organizers.

NYHealth is also supporting two complementary initiatives for ending medical debt in New York State, with grants to the Volunteer Lawyers Project of Central New York and the Urban Institute.