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How 2 women bought and pledged more than $ 1 million for strangers' medical debt



Two women from Ithaca, New York make headlines after collecting money that has ultimately helped to pay more than $ 1 million in medical debt to low-income strangers. Carolyn Kenyon and Judith Jones raised $ 12,500 and sent it to the charity R.I.P. Medical Debt who then bought a portfolio of $ 1.5 million in medical debt for half a cent of the dollar for her.

The organization then sent nearly 1,300 yellow envelopes to New Yorkers, letting them know that they told SELF that as part of their work as a member of the Finger Lakes chapter in the Finger Lakes chapter of the Finger Lakes capital started to raise money and forgive it. New York Health Campaign which supports comprehensive health insurance for citizens by adopting the New York Health Act.

"One of the findings of this law is that it will end medical debt," says Jones. "Medical debt is a huge problem across the country."

Jones says she's "RIP Medical Debt searching online and" it seemed like an idea that would get some attention here. "So she teamed up with Kenyon and together they have more than in the summer "It took on a life of its own," she says, "As we learned more about the depth of the debt problem in the medical field, we were increasingly intrigued by the correctness of the project's execution."

Kenyon Says SELF that she and Jones are "surprised" by the attention of her project, but in a sense it makes sense. "The fear of being able to afford health care seems to be an epidemic," she says. [19659007] In fact, every fifth American has difficulty paying his medical bills, as does the data of a Joint Kaiser Family Foundation / [19659012] New York Times poll Without health insurance states to have problems with the payment of medical bills. Even among those with health insurance 63 percent state that they have largely or completely used up their savings, and 42 percent have taken on additional work or worked longer to pay their medical debts. It is an issue that can affect anyone who needs access to health services, especially those suffering from chronic, expensive diseases like cancer .

A little money contributes a lot to forgive the debt of doctors.

Here, in this case, it was only $ 12,500 to pay the medical debt of $ 1.5 million, which is pretty amazing. How does this work?

R.I.P. Medical Debt buys the debts of people earning less than twice the Federal Poverty Allowance (FPL). This is a measure of the income spent each year by the Ministry of Health and Human Services. Exact FPL cutoff limits vary depending on household size however, for example, include income of $ 16,460 for a family of two and income of $ 25,100 for a four-person family.

The organization can buy these debt portfolios at A A big discount through donations, and so they can stretch the money so much, says the co-founder of the organization, Craig Antico, to SELF. At that point, the bills usually went through several collection agencies and remained unpaid for months or even years. "We want to enable donors to help each other to eliminate the plight of medical debt," he says. "Our ultimate goal is to end the plight of medical debt and bring health and debt relief to people and communities."

Antico and his partner Jerry Ashton have just published a book entitled End Medical Debt . And he says royalties will apply to his organization, with each book sold off more than $ 500 in debt.

Jones says she hopes her latest donation will change the lives of many people. "These people can now have their credit report fixed enough to rent a house," says Jones. "Sometimes it can make a difference if they are hired for a job. We hope that this will help them lead a successful life. "

Jones and Kenyon are already looking forward to their next project: they raise money to relieve veterans' medical debts. If you are interested in relief of medical debt, you can contact ripmedicaldebt.org . donate

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