Delaware’s Health Care Student Loan Forgiveness Programs Attract Doctors and Nurses to Delaware

August 17, 2021

Delaware is advancing healthcare access statewide by offering a pair of student loan repayment programs that encourage qualifying medical professionals to choose Delaware for their practice.

A shortage of healthcare professionals – especially primary care practitioners – is being felt throughout the United States. But Delaware is staving off the service delays and delivery gaps that can be caused by this shortage by attracting much-needed medical personnel to the First State with a pair of programs that help them cover the cost of their education and training.

Delaware has been investing in developing strategies to support health care professionals deal with education debt since the inception of its health care loan forgiveness program years ago. In fact, an article by Money magazine identifies Delaware as one of “11 states and cities that will help you pay off your student loans.” In 2021, the Delaware Health Care Provider Loan Repayment Program was created to strengthen Delaware employer efforts to recruit and retain quality healthcare professionals even further.

“Delaware may be a tiny state,” the Money article notes, “but it is offering big bucks to healthcare professionals looking to move and work there.”

Two Delaware Health Care Provider Loan Repayment Programs Available

Details of the two programs offered in Delaware are as follows: 

  • The newly created Delaware Health Care Provider Loan Repayment Program offers grant awards up to $50,000 per year for a maximum of four years to new primary care providers who have recently completed their graduate education. Administered by the Delaware Health Care Commission, the program serves family medicine physicians, specialists, nurse practitioners, certified nurse-midwives, and physician assistants. Priority consideration may be given to Delaware Institute of Medical Education and Research-participating students and participants in Delaware-based residency programs. 

In addition, hospitals, private practices and other healthcare organizations may apply for grants on behalf of their qualifying employees. All facilities or organizations submitting applications must accept Medicare and Medicaid patients and be located in underserved areas or areas of need. Any hospitals submitting applications also must pledge a dollar-for-dollar match.

 “Our primary care doctors and their teams are the first line of defense in our healthcare system and the personal time they spend with their patients helps create healthier communities one family at a time,” Delaware State Representative Bryan Shupe. “Investing in the future of our local doctors, through this public-private partnership, will set a precedent in focusing on our local communities and the health of our local families.”

Further details about the Delaware Health Care Provider Loan Repayment Program are available here.

  • In place since 2000, the Delaware Student Loan Repayment Program offers awards ranging from $30,000 to $100,000 for up to four years to healthcare professionals who live in Delaware and work in designated Health Professional Shortage Areas. Administered by the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services, the program serves qualified advanced and mid-level professionals in dental, behavioral/mental health and primary care and is open to both recent graduates considering moving to or staying in Delaware as well as to practitioners already employed for several years by a qualified Delaware practice site. 

A flyer about the Delaware Student Loan Repayment Program may be downloaded here