November 13, 2023

Medical Debt is a Big Problem. Here’s What We're Doing About It.

StretchDollar’s new partnership gives all members access to professional bill negotiation services.
Marshall Darr
A pencil erasing the word debt. 

Key takeaways

StretchDollar’s partnership with Resolve Medical Bills gives all members access to professional bill reduction services.

It is almost inevitable that a portion of our small business customers (and the employees that work for them) will get hit with crazy expensive healthcare bills. Medical debt is the sad reality of living in the United States. Today, more than 40% of people carry medical debt, and for one in ten of those, it’s substantial. We can do better. It’s why we’re getting proactive in how StretchDollar can support our members when those unfortunate situations come.

Our new partnership with Resolve Medical Bills puts some of the best medical claims support in the U.S. squarely in our member’s corner.

To date, Resolve has managed to reduce the cost of medical bills for clients by over $40 million dollars — on average, by 60% per bill they negotiate. Now all StretchDollar small business members (and the people who work for them) will have access to their service on any medical bill over $500 for no upfront cost.

Under our agreement, Resolve will provide their services to our members in exchange for a fee of 20% of the money saved. Meaning, if they don’t successfully negotiate a bill, our member owes nothing. Here’s how the arrangement would play out on a $1,000 bill:

Chart comparing medical debt using Resolve and without.

Saving money, time, headaches...

We forecast that on average this partnership will reduce the cost of hefty bills by around 50% for our members. But, the benefits don’t stop there.

Negotiating medical bills can feel like a relentless hustle. Calls to doctors’ offices, hospitals and medical facilities. Calls (and waiting on hold) with health insurance carrier’s claims departments. Again and again. Imagine now outsourcing those tasks to experts who’ll do the legwork for you. It’s like having a personal assistant who loves paperwork, leaving you with more hours to do what you want.

How big of a problem is medical debt?

Medical debt is a massive problem in the U.S. — a $195 billion problem. While 92% of Americans have some form of health insurance (a vast improvement from 10 years ago), more than half of all adults between 19 and 64 years old find it pretty tough to afford their health care costs, according to Commonwealth Fund’s Health Care Affordability Survey. A 2023 survey by had similar results, with 45% of individual with debt reporting owing more than $500.

What’s even more troubling is the longterm impact on families and community health. The survey found that 34% of respondents admitted to “avoiding medical care because of debt.” This shows that the fear of accumulating medical debt is stopping a lot of people from getting the essential health care services they need. If we ever want to tackle this issues in out country, individuals delaying care won’t cut it.

A better health benefits experience with StretchDollar

Our model, allowing small employers to contribute tax-free funding directly to employee-owned health insurance premiums, has helped many small businesses address access problems that employees have when it comes to health insurance. Yet, access is only the first step.

With this new partnership, we’re helping our customers say goodbye to the stress of negotiating medical bills and hello to the convenience and peace of mind of having us do it for you. (And that goes a long way in supporting the small business community.)

We’ll continue to improve the end-to-end experience of health insurance for our client’s employees. The partnership with Resolve is a big step in the right direction. We couldn’t be more excited.

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