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About Our Fundraiser:

United Methodist Church's Campaign to Abolish $1.5M of Medical Debt

Dear Friends,

It’s almost a Christmas tradition in its own right: trying to decide what to give our loved ones for Christmas, especially those folks who seem to “have it all”. Here’s a new idea: designate a donation, as individuals or as a congregation, to RIP Medical Debt!

RIP Medical Debt is a 501(c)(3) charity, started in 2014 by former medical debt collectors, that has wiped out over $9 million in medical bills for persons struggling-or unable-to pay. Here’s how it works: when a hospital turns a medical bill over for collection, they actually sell that bill to the collection agency for about 10 cents on the dollar. RIP Medical Debt buys that discounted debt from the collection agency, using donated money, and forgives it—the person who was once weighed down with a crushing medical debt is free-no strings attached! The group targets the medical debts of persons who earn less than two times the federal poverty level amount; whose debts are greater than 5% of their annual income; or whose debts are greater than their assets.

RIP Medical Debt has received gifts from John Oliver, who spotlighted the group on his TV show Last Week Tonight, from NBC stations, from groups of nurses and doctors, from high school classes, from philanthropists, foundations, and organizations, and from individuals. Currently, the charity is focusing on medical debt in Appalachia—that’s us!—where debt loads are especially heavy.

You can find out more information at their website: www.RIPMedicaldebt.org. Jamion Wolford, our Conference Treasurer, has checked them out, and they are a legitimate organization. Wouldn’t it be a great Christmas present, or Sunday School/UMW project, or church ministry, or personal gift, to help erase some crushing medical debt and help folks finish the healing process? This could make a joyous Christmas for folks in our region this year!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Cordially,

Rev. Martha S. Ognibene

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RIP Medical Debt’s Solution: RIP Medical Debt uses donations to purchase bundled medical debt portfolios that have gone through collection agencies for months or years. Using third-party credit data providers, it targets debt incurred by people facing financial hardship, and then forgives it. On average, $1 is leveraged to abolish $100 in medical debt.

Please see the full RIP FAQ below and visit www.ripmedicaldebt.org for more information. 

Want to make a donation by cash or check?

Please mail any cash or check (payable to "RIP Medical Debt") to the address below and make sure to notate on the memo line or letter that your gift is designated to "United Methodist Church Campaign."

RIP Medical Debt  /  80 Theodore Fremd Ave. Rye, NY 10580 

You can contact Jane Lee at ddrukker@ripmedicaldebt.org with any questions about your donation. 

Who is RIP Medical Debt? RIP Medical Debt (RIP) is a national 501c3 nonprofit organization with a mission to empower donors to forgive the billions of dollars in oppressive medical debt at pennies on the dollar. RIP locates, buys, and abolishes destructive medical debt for individuals, veterans, and families. Since inception in 2014, RIP has relieved more than $600 million in medical debt for individuals across the U.S., impacting over 250,000 individuals.

How Does RIP Medical Debt Work? RIP, working with third-party credit data providers, searches through large debt portfolios to locate accounts meeting their criteria for relief. RIP then negotiates to buy millions of dollars of this debt at a steep discount, usually a penny or less on the dollar.

Facts about Medical Debt

  • 42.9 million Americans have unpaid medical bills, which creates an adverse impact on debtor patients, physicians, and hospitals (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau)
  • Six in 10 of both insured and uninsured people say they have difficulty in paying other bills as a result of medical debt. Over a third were unable to pay for food, heat or housing because of medical bills. (Kaiser Family Foundation & New York Times)
  • Nearly two-thirds of U.S. adults under age 65, or 116 million people, had medical bill problems or debt, went without needed care because of cost, were uninsured for a time or were underinsured — insured but had high out-of-pocket medical expenses or deductibles relative to income. (Kaiser Family Foundation & New York Times)
  • Medical debt contributes to more than 60 percent of the bankruptcies in the U.S. Until satisfied, debt lingers on a person’s credit report to negatively impact their ability to buy a home, get a loan or even gain employment. (The American Journal of Medicine)

Whose unpayable medical bills does RIP forgive?

  • Individuals who make less than 2 times the federal poverty level
  • Individuals with financial hardship - 5% or more of their annual income goes to out-of-pocket medical expenses
  • Individuals who are insolvent (debts greater to their assets)

Why Donate to RIP Medical Debt?

  • Your dollar goes a long way! On average, $1 abolishes $100 of debt.
  • 100 percent of your donation goes towards abolishing medical debt.
  • RIP Medical Debt is a 501c3 nonprofit organization, and our EIN number is 47-1442997. Donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law.
  • We have specific programs for veterans and active service members of the US military.
  • There are no tax consequences for those whose medical debts are forgiven. The forgiveness is a gift from a detached and disinterested third party (RIP) is an act of generosity, so forgiveness of the
  • does not count as being income to the gift recipient.

RIP Medical Debt's Federal Tax ID: 47-1442997

Disclaimer: In the event that a campaign is unable to meet RIP Medical Debt's local campaign contribution goal, all funds will be attributed to our national funds for general or veteran medical debt.