A Nation That Cares
Let no debt remain outstanding...
$1 million dollars matched until December 31st!
There are millions of families in the US currently strapped by medical debt. Imagine having that weight on your shoulders, while still recovering from health issues, trying to support your family with Christmas approaching.
This Christmas, your church can provide relief to 403,104 of these families who are struggling with medical debt. They each owe an average of $1,000 for medical treatment, and you can wipe it away right now with RIP Medical Debt’s Christmas campaign – A Nation that Cares.
We all have a close friend or a relative who requires ongoing care for cancer, diabetes, or heart disease. They walk into a care facility with hope for healing. They walk out with staggering medical bills. If they’re lucky, insurance will pay for most of it, but never all of it. For millions of Americans who are underinsured or not insured at all, it’s a sentence to years of debt servitude that far outstrips their annual income. Medical debt is demoralizing. The savings are gone. All plans for financial security in retirement and for one’s children evaporate in an instant. To be stranded in debt is to feel abandoned and alone. Resources available to help are few and unevenly distributed across the U.S.
“But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?”1 John 3:17
Churches and other faith-based nonprofits have demonstrated how love abides by relieving $1 billion in medical debt directly for members of their communities over the last 4 years! These acts of grace have made it easier for almost 1 million people to make financial decisions that improve the quality of life for their families.
But there’s so much more work to do! In fact, some communities present so much debt that not even several significant faith-centered campaigns could relieve all the debt available, leaving approximately $500 million in debt for Americans outside of all past and current debt relief campaigns. This Christmas campaign seeks to raise $5 million dollars to relieve that debt. Can we push the boundaries of love from sea to shining sea?
This year, we are building a coalition among our partners in communities of faith to make a large act of debt relief for Americans across the country, regardless of where they live! Our goal is to raise $5 million to relieve roughly $500 million of medical debt and announce the results during the holiday season, just before Christmas. In the present times, rife with discord and polarization, this act of love demonstrates we are a nation of people who cares about their fellow Americans. Jesus Christ’s love knew no boundaries. As we celebrate His birth, let our charity know no bounds as well.
Where debt is going unaddressed in communities across the nation, access to care also recedes. Sadly, just the fact that an individual owes medical debt, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association, decreases the likelihood that they will seek health care treatment.
As we aspire to love like Christ, we are challenged to extend the embrace of our love and compassion many times throughout our lives. You’ve seen the power of debt relief in your own communities; would you like to create that impact across the country? Let’s join together to eliminate this insidious debt trap for all Americans! It’s a trap that has snared people like Vanessa, who has a job and insurance.
Romans 13:8 entreats us:
“Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.”
But when 65% of all bankruptcies in the U.S. are directly related to medical debt, we know that the biller’s expectations have exceeded the patient’s ability to “let no debt remain outstanding.” These debts are not the result of poor choices, and the only way to remove them is to galvanize the collective strength of our community. In this case, it is the American community. Medical debt is a uniquely American problem and no one living here is free from the threat of financial ruin due to one accident or illness.
This campaign is for people like Kyra, a mother and transplant survivor.
Faith holds us together when the walls feel like they are collapsing. We have hope that the condition of life on Earth can improve through our perseverance. While faith and hope can provide comfort on the journey, they are not actions which can improve the condition of our brothers and sisters across the nation. We know that by loving our neighbor as ourselves, we bring earth closer to heaven. The apostle Paul reminds us,
“So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”Corinth. 13:13
Love is how we care for others. Our acts of love can plant the seeds of hope and faith in our fellow Americans, who encounter these unbearable financial obligations through no fault of their own. Jesus spent his life serving the poor and the sick, setting an example for all his followers. He dispelled any confusion about why when he said,
“This is my commandment, that you love one another, as I have loved you.”John 13:34-35
“Forgiving” medical debt, though there has been no transgression on behalf of the patient, is the jubilee this country needs. All Americans crave liberty, and those of us who enjoy it can grant it to our neighbors currently indentured to pay debt far beyond their capacity. How can we rejoice in the presence of such inequity?
In a nation that cares, there are no strangers. Christmas is a time to celebrate the birth of the Redeemer, whose example has reverberated through the ages. At the same time, it’s important not to forget about those who are struggling. Our communities of faith have the potential to deliver freedom from debt captivity for fellow Americans nation-wide. Please join us as we make a “joyful noise” throughout the country this Christmas, removing the heavy obstacle of medical debt for those in need. We are a nation that cares about our fellow Americans, and this is how we love.
Will you please consider sharing this campaign with your congregation and other centers of worship within your denomination or conference? Let’s do this together! And though Christian churches are leading this effort, the campaign is open to congregations of any faith, as well as the charity of individuals outside of places of worship. If you have special questions or would like to start a campaign exclusively within your church, contact Adeena Eisen at [email protected].
Click through the slides below to see thank you notes from previous beneficiaries
Campaign Support Recipients
- Anonymous just donated $513.03
- Meina B. just donated $100
- Linda R. just donated $300.20
- Anonymous just donated $513.03
- Anonymous just donated $150
- Gregory R. just donated $1,000
- Vineyard at Tuttle Crossing just donated $5,000
- Mt. Zion United Church of Christ just donated $1,400
How RIP Works
Over a hundred million Americans, one in three, struggles with the weight of medical debt.
Here’s how we lift them up.
You make a donation
With every donation, RIP uses its precise data analytics to pinpoint the medical debt of those most in need of relief: households whose income is below twice the federal poverty line or are insolvent.
RIP buys medical debt at a steep discount
Your donations allow us to buy debt in bundles. That allows us to buy debt at a fraction of the original cost. So whatever you donate has 100x the impact.
Together we wipe out medical debt
People receive a letter that their debt is gone. No taxes. No penalties. Just like that, they're free of medical debt.
Yes. We are a 501(c)(3) charity and your donation is 100% tax deductible.
When we purchase a portfolio of medical debt, we abolish debt for individuals who:
- Earn less than 2x the federal poverty level (varies by state, family size).
- Debts are 5 percent or more of annual income.
We only buy debt that has been pre-qualified by our partners to meet at least one of these three criteria.
We never collect on debt we purchase, only relieve it.
No. With your help, we abolish medical debt permanently. Recipients have no adverse tax consequences, obligations, or strings attached.
For those whose medical debts are relieved, the relief is a gift from a detached and disinterested third party (RIP) as an act of generosity, so relief of the debt does not count as income to the debtor. We will not file a Form 1099-C with the IRS.
Due to HIPAA laws, RIP Medical Debt cannot disclose the names, contact information or any other specific details of the debt relief beneficiaries.
RIP Medical Debt cannot relieve debt by individual request.
While we would love to help everyone who needs assistance, RIP Medical Debt cannot abolish medical debt for specific individuals. We approach the problem of medical debt by acquiring large portfolios of debt to help thousands of people at once.
Because medical debt affects so many people who may not have debt accounts in the portfolios we purchase, we have compiled a list of resources that may be able to help in ways RIP Medical Debt cannot.