Surviving Medical Debt: A blessing delivered in a yellow envelope

For Merissa, from Genesee County, the yellow envelope informing her that some of her medical debt was being paid for, it was “the real deal.” (Photo: WEYI/WSMH)

GENESEE COUNTY, Mich. - For the past several weeks, we’ve been reminding you to be checking your mailboxes for these bright yellow envelopes.

For Merissa, from Genesee County, the yellow envelope informing her that some of her medical debt was being paid for, it was “the real deal.”

“As I started opening it and I just smiled because it’s a blessing to get something like this,” Merissa says.

The medical debt forgiveness is just one of several ‘blessings’ Merissa says she’s thankful for.

“This is one of my medical bills from 2008 from an old car accident,” she recalls.

An accident on I-69 near Swartz Creek which came close to claiming her life.

“I ended up hitting black ice at an angle and I rolled my car about 50 feet. And I broke four ribs, I broke my pelvis in three areas, my tailbone, had a collapsed and punctured right lung and a brain injury. And they actually thought I was dead on scene.”

Merissa credits her first responders and the emergency room medical team for saving her life. But a long road to recovery lay ahead.

“I ended up pulling thru. I was in a wheel chair for about three months and, it’s a miracle. It really is.”

In the months and years after Merissa’s accident, the medical bills began to mount. And so did the debt.

“It can be stressful, very stressful knowing that your medical bills affect your credit score. It affects everything in life, knowing that you have debt that is unpaid. And to receive a letter this in the mail, it’s a complete blessing.”

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