Ada First United Methodist Church (FUMC) has purchased and paid off more than $ 3.8 million in medical debt owed by 1,327 people in south-central Oklahoma.
Ada FUMC has partnered with the national nonprofit RIP Medical Debt to purchase and write off $ 3.8 million in medical debt owed by residents of Coal, Garvin, Hughes, Pontotoc and Seminole counties.
Medical debt is the number one cause of bankruptcy in the United States and, particularly in the midst of a global pandemic, Ada FUMC has sought to provide relief to local families strapped for medical bills.
The campaign was first launched in March 2020 with an initial goal of buying and forgiving $ 2 million in medical debt.
“The global pandemic certainly forced us to adjust our original goal,” said Senior Pastor Brian Matthews, “but even with this adjustment we were able to forgive over a million dollars more than we hoped for. Thanks to RIP’s expertise, we were able to write off approximately $ 380.00 in medical debt for every $ 1.00 donated.
Krystina Phillips, who coordinated the mission for Ada FUMC, looks forward to the next campaign. “Medical debts are not discriminatory: anyone can get sick or be involved in a serious accident. I hope that our church and other members of the community can revisit this mission in the future, especially when it offers tangible benefits to our neighbors. “
Using sophisticated data analytics to identify pooled medical debt portfolios most in need of relief – households that are: below double the federal poverty line, insolvent, or struggling – RIP buys unpaid debt and unpayable at greatly reduced rates by purchasing debt in large pooled portfolios for a fraction of their face value.
Once the medical debt is in RIP’s possession, rather than collecting it, RIP forgives it, unconditionally. Additionally, RIP Medical Debt reports resolved debt to credit bureaus so that damaged credit can be repaired, renewing families’ access to opportunities and resources that will allow them to rebuild.
People whose medical debt has been canceled will receive a notification in yellow RIP branded envelopes in the coming weeks.