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News & Updates

Wight Horse

Six years ago, Romy Wightman was diagnosed with colon cancer and accrued over $20,000 in medical bills in just the first three months, and that was with insurance. She thought, “Why haven’t I heard more about this? This must be only happening to me.” When she asked her support group she realized she was far from alone, but no one was talking about it and no one knew where to go for help.

People buried in medical debt find relief with help from growing nonprofit

Pastor Kenny Camacho has long believed the United States health caresystem is broken. Years ago, on the heels of a costly cancer scare in his family, his infant daughter fell off the changing table. The Annapolis, Maryland, family rushed to the hospital but hesitated outside for hours. His daughter ended up being fine, but he says he still remembers the fear of going into debt for medical treatment, which kept him from going in. “That feeling of being invisible and incapable of taking care of my family has stuck with me,” Camacho said. “That’s not how […]

Churches Step In Where Politicians Will Not

Why do we need acts of charity to rescue Americans from crushing medical bills? Vanessa Matos couldn’t believe what she was reading. “I was like, OK, this is a scam,” she recalled of the letter she received in February. Her husband, she said, had the same reaction: “Yeah, this isn’t real.” But it was. Ms. Matos’s medical debt — more than $900 owed because of complications from surgery at the Massachusetts hospital where she had worked as a nurse — had been relieved by strangers at a church she had never been to. Adam Mabry, […]

Dollar For

Over five years ago, Jared Walker’s family experienced a medical crisis. As their medical bills became more and more overwhelming, they could no longer dismiss a nagging thought familiar to many Americans—“how are we going to pay for this?”

This experience inspired Jared to start Dollar For, a nonprofit organization that, through innovative practices and a community-oriented approach, advocates for families with overwhelming medical expenses.

Could Your Medical Bills Make You Sick?

That debt doesn’t just hurt your bank account—it can harm your health, too. What you must know now. Devin Barrington-Ward was doubled over with stomach pain. His chest hurt, too. Though his family urged him to call an ambulance and he was terrified that his condition was serious, Barrington-Ward had another concern on his mind: the expense. Uninsured, he knew he couldn’t afford the ambulance ride. So his mother raced him to a hospital near his home in suburban Atlanta that day in January earlier this year. After several hours in the emergency room, where […]

Therapy in New York City Costs as much as Three Months Rent

The majority of therapists in America’s most expensive city are not in network with your insurance During one of the biggest mental health and unemployment crises in modern history, the average cost of a 9-month course of therapy in New York City is $7,500. Consumers, many of whom already often pay for sessions via credit card, are now more likely to incur debt in order to cover the costs of their mental health care. Nirvana Health is partnering with RIP Medical Debt to help eliminate patient health care debt. The cost of mental health care […]

Do Something: Relieve Debt

A third of Americans have medical bills they cannot pay. A New York nonprofit has helped eliminate $2 billion of that debt for the poorest of them. Over decades of working low-paying jobs, with no health insurance benefits, Dreama Shaeffer—like thousands of other Americans—found herself early this year with thousands of dollars of medical bills she was unable to pay. A 54-year-old single mom, Shaeffer had bills that stemmed from injuries her now grown son suffered as a child; from doctors appointments to treat her early-onset osteoporosis; from a three-year-old emergency in which she stopped […]

Here’s how you can help people who’ve lost jobs or housing in the wake of coronavirus

The fallout from the spread of coronavirus has highlighted how many Americans are one disaster away from physical, emotional, or economic ruin. Now, while many await federal and state assistance, those in more secure financial positions have an opportunity to step up and help.  But with so many communities affected, it’s difficult to know where your time and dollars are best spent: Millions of uninsured Americans are at risk for catching the virus, could incur enormous medical bills for treatment, even if relief legislation promises to cover testing; salaried and hourly workers at nonessential businesses have suddenly […]

Coronavirus in New York: How to Help

If there is one thing New Yorkers believe about themselves, it’s that no one pulls together quite as well during a crisis. Vigorous hand-washing, staying home, bumping elbows instead of hugging — we got that. But with more than 200 confirmed cases of coronavirus in New York and more than 1,110 nationwide, some people are asking if they can do more to help. “It’s been so internally focused,” Chris Principe, 40, said of the advice he has heard from public officials. Mr. Principe, who lives in Brooklyn and is a video director at the publishing […]

How Some Lucky Americans Are Getting Their Medical Debt Wiped Out

Medical debt is not just a burden for countless Americans; it’s also the No. 1 source of personal bankruptcy filings in the country. But for some lucky folks, relief may be around the corner.  RIP Medical Debt, a nonprofit organization that raises money to wipe out unpayable health-related debts, recently announced that it has successfully eliminated $1 billion (yes, you read that correctly) in medical debt for more than 500,000 people in all 50 states. Included in that figure is $65 million of medical debt carried by veterans.  Read more on The Ascent

This Group Frees People From the Prison of Medical Debt, One at a Time

When Sara Cook got a letter in the mail informing her that a group of strangers at a church she’d never heard of had relieved $5,000 of her medical debt, she thought it was a scam.  She had already had enough misfortune to last a lifetime. The 43-year-old registered nurse’s problems had begun years earlier, when her back pain turned out to be a herniated disc. One surgery resulted in an infection, another surgery—after the disc re-herniated—led to meningitis and a long hospital stay, during which doctors removed a vertebrae. All these complications led to […]

How ordinary citizens are wiping out millions of dollars in medical debt for others — and how you can, too

For many people who feel crushed under the weight of their medical bills, trips to the mailbox can be anxiety-inducing. A reminder of that you’re in a hole that feels impossible to get out of. A reminder that someone is still after you for money that you don’t have. In the coming weeks, opening up the mailbox for some people might yield a welcome surprise instead: a yellow envelope with the words “RIP Medical Debt.” At first, it might look like a scam, perhaps a scheme that might ultimately leave the recipient worse off than […]

Ohio church abolishes $46.5 million in medical debt to help locals

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – An unexpected gift was given to thousands of people across Ohio overwhelmed by medical debt.  “It just sort of snowballed into something amazing,” said Pastor Andy Reider, Community Pastor at Crossroads Dayton. He said it was November when the senior pastor at Crossroads brought up the idea of helping the community in a special and unique way. That idea formed into a partnership with RIP Medical Debt. The national non-profit bundles unpaid debt that can then be bought by entities like Crossroads Church. Read More on WDTN 2 News

How to Negotiate Your Medical Bills

If you’ve ever had an insanely high medical bill arrive in the mail, you’ve probably contemplated your options: Pay the bill and dine on ramen noodles for the next few years? Take out a loan? Ignore the bill and risk it going to collections? There is a better alternative: Learn how to negotiate your medical bills.  Read More on MSN