NEW YORK, March 5, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — As one in five people in the U.S. grapple with medical debt and in the spirit of working for local communities, NBC and Telemundo Owned Television Stations Group has donated $150,000 to RIP Medical Debt (RIP), the leading nonprofit tackling the medical debt crisis in the country. RIP will use the station group’s’ donation to locate, buy and forgive $15 million of medical debt owed by individuals in 11 markets.
“NBC and Telemundo owned stations’ commitment to helping the most vulnerable in our communities is an inspiration,” said RIP co-founders Craig Antico & Jerry Ashton. “Our goal is to abolish $1 billion of medical debt in 2018, and we’re incredibly proud to have NBC and Telemundo owned stations as partners in helping us make this happen.”
RIP steps in to help struggling individuals and families by buying debt from medical providers and debt sellers on the debt market (for pennies on the dollar) and forgiving it. As little as $1 donated to RIP can alleviate $100 of medical debt. The debt is removed from credit reports and can no longer be collected on.
Through localized, multi-platform awareness campaigns, NBC and Telemundo-owned stations’ consumer investigative units will report about medical debt and its effects on individuals, families and communities and what people may be able to do to alleviate their situation. The stations will also invite viewers to join their efforts by donating to RIP. Donations made to RIP will help the nonprofit provide medical debt relief to even more individuals.
“Medical debt can be devastating. We know this because consumers from all across the country call our consumer investigative units looking for information that can help them deal with their medical debt,” said Kevin Keeshan, Senior Vice President, News Content and Standards, NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations. “RIP’s work helps families turn their lives around. We are pleased to partner with RIP and do our part to help our viewers.”
NBC and Telemundo-owned stations’ consumer investigative teams – NBC Responds and Telemundo Responde – have answered more than 250,000 consumer complaints, including concerns about medical debt. Charged with answering every consumer email and phone call, the stations’ consumer investigative units have put more than $20 million back in consumers’ pockets and helped individuals receive funds they were owed.
NBC and Telemundo Owned Television Stations Group’s donation will equal $15 million of medical debt cumulatively abolished in the following markets: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas/Fort Worth, Bay Area, Washington D.C., Boston, Miami-Fort Lauderdale, San Diego and Hartford.
RIP Medical Debt is a 501(c)(3) that allows generous donors to forgive unpaid and unpayable medical debt for fellow Americans. Founded in 2014 by two former collections industry executives, Craig Antico & Jerry Ashton, RIP has already abolished $50 million of medical debt. To learn more, make a donation, or get involved, visit www.ripmedicaldebt.org.
NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations is the division of NBCUniversal that includes 39 NBC and Telemundo local television stations serving 24 markets, a regional news network and their associated websites and digital platforms, as well as a group of out-of-home properties, a production company, an in-house marketing and promotions company and two national multicast networks, COZI TV and TeleXitos. The local stations, which can be viewed in 37 percent of U.S. homes and in Puerto Rico, produce and deliver their local communities compelling and unique local news, real-time weather forecasts, consumer and investigative reports and entertainment programming across all platforms to help keep their English and Spanish-speaking audiences informed anytime and anywhere.