Reviving Appalachia Through Medical Debt Relief
Every dollar you donate forgives $100 in Medical Debt
In the past forty years, medical costs have doubled, insurance copays and deductibles have spiked, and bankruptcy rates have quadrupled, creating an avalanche of destructive medical debt. More than 60% of bankruptcies in America have medical debt as a root cause, and the situation is especially dire in Appalachia.
A recent study showed that in Appalachia, out-of-pocket healthcare costs are 40% higher than the national average, and this year almost every state in Appalachia suffered a decline in insurance coverage—sure to make things worse.
Nearly one in five people in Appalachia are in poverty, and medical debt makes that poverty impossible to escape. Medical debt destroys a family’s credit rating; denying access to loans, an apartment, and even a job. People in medical debt are less likely to seek medical care or fill prescriptions so that, in the end, medical debt not only destroys well-being and economic security, it can kill.
With its strong work ethic and abundant natural resources, Appalachia fueled America’s prosperity. From the Great Smoky Mountains to Davy Crockett, Appalachia has formed America’s cultural image. Musicians like Ralph Stanley and Dolly Parton defined American music.
While medical debt has affected all of America, it is especially tragic that the medical debt crisis has hit Appalachia so hard; an area that has given so much to the country.
How You Can Help
RIP Medical Debt donors, Jim and Sharen Branscome, have taken a big first step by abolishing $8 million of medical debt in the region. They’ve decided to continue their support by organizing this crowdfunding campaign that will focus on medical debt relief in Appalachia perpetually. With $240 million of medical debt available and growing in the region, the circumstances are right for a massive philanthropic opportunity.
When debt relief recipients open the yellow envelope from RIP, they are told that their debt has been bought by a third party and erased with no strings attached. They owe nothing on the debt and face no tax penalty.
Every dollar you contribute is a $100 investment in Appalachian towns and cities. Money will stay in the community instead of being taken by out-of-state debt collectors. On average, $16 can abolish the medical debt of an entire family, allowing them to invest in a home, schooling, or retirement.
“I read my letter over a few times to make sure it was the real thing. Receiving this debt relief renewed my faith that I can get back on track. It jump-started it – that we can do this – I can get back in the game! It’s unheard of what RIP does, and it’s a game changer in the medical world. It’s a game changer for me.”
Campaign Support Recipients
- Helen W. just donated $51.49
- Raymond P. just donated $51.49
- Scott R. just donated $10.20
- Anonymous just donated $50.00
- Jarad K. just donated $100.00
- Michael W. just donated $5.00
- Anonymous just donated $100.00
- Anonymous just donated $148.92
How RIP Works
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.
- Facing insolvency — debts are greater than assets.
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 forgive it.
Learn more about how RIP works in this short video.
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 forgiven, the forgiveness is a gift from a detached and disinterested third party (RIP) as an act of generosity, so forgiveness 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 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.