Central partners with RIP MEDICAL to abolish medical debt and provide relief for those in need.
What are we doing?
- Central Christian Church is paying off $1,500,000 in medical debt with $15,000.
Why are we doing this?
- We are “Loving God, Loving People”. By demonstrating this love, we are spreading HOPE this holiday season to a group of people who may feel forgotten.
Why should we pay off this medical debt?
- As a large church, we have a chance to make a large impact on our area. Medical debt is a huge problem and it’s crippling families. In addition to the mental and financial stress, people often have money garnished from their paychecks. This can make it difficult to purchase even the essentials, not to mention the outstanding debt drops their credit score making borrowing difficult and may even be an issue for future employment.
How are we able to do this?
- By partnering with RIP MEDICAL, a non-profit organization that is committed to paying off medical debt.
What criteria does RIP Medical use?
- The debt being paid-off is from people:
- who earn less than 2x the federal poverty level
- whose debts are 5% or more of their annual income
- who are facing insolvency; their debt is greater than their total assets.
- They live in the counties of Jefferson, Marion, Clay, Wayne, Hamilton, Perry, Washington, St. Clair, and Clinton.
Isn’t this debt from people who most likely will never pay it off anyway?
- YES! That’s the point. Just because they will never be able to pay it off doesn’t mean they don’t want to pay it off. Almost everyone is grateful for the medical care they received, they just can’t afford to pay for it.
Can Central Choose who has their debt paid off?
- RIP Medical purchases the debt in bundled portfolios. This is one of the reasons these individuals face no tax burden from the gift.
Does Central know whose debt is paid off?
- Due to HIPAA privacy laws, these individuals will remain unknown unless they choose to reach out to us. They will receive a letter from RIP Medical that informs them their debt has been paid off by Central Christian Church. What they do from there is up to them.
Are those who have their debt paid required to pay taxes on the income?
- For those whose medical debts are paid off, the gift is from a detached and unbiased third party (RIP Medical) as an act of generosity. Because of this, the forgiveness of the debt does not count as income to the debtor.
What does Central want in return from these people?
- Nothing, that’s what a gift is. We’re not asking them to become a member at Central or even to come to a service here. We only want them to know there are people in Southern Illinois who care about them but more importantly, that there is a GREAT GOD that cares about them, and for them.