RIP Medical Debt has a couple of new benefactors.
The New York Health Campaign and a television station in Memphis, Tenn., have raised money that they donated to the organization, which it used to buy and forgive nearly $3 million in medical debt.
The New York Health Campaign purchased $1.5 million in medical debts for individuals living in the Empire State, and sent them notifications that their debts had been forgiven. The debts were held by about 1,300 families. The Memphis TV station purchased $1.4 in medical debts for individuals in the station’s viewing area across four states and had the debts wiped clean — about 500 families in total.
A growing number of organizations, especially television stations, have engaged in campaigns to raise funds and eliminate medical debt. RIP Medical Debt has even been featured on NBC’s Nightly News and on HBO’s “Last Week Tonight” with John Oliver. RIP Medical Debt is seeking to abolish $1 billion of unpaid healthcare bills in 2018, according to the organization’s co-founders, Jerry Ashton and Craig Antico.
Individuals who have their debts paid off either make less than 200% of the federal poverty level, have a document hardship in repaying the debt, or have medical debts that represent more than 5% of their gross income, according to a published report.