A $100,000 donation by a North Texas church could spell relief for thousands of people struggling with medical debt.
Covenant Church in Carrollton is covering outstanding bills for families near its four locations in Carrollton, Crossroads, Colleyville and McKinney.
Baron Ford is a member of Covenant and an Air Force veteran. Having served in Operation Desert Storm and Desert Shield, he personally knows fellow vets coping with medical debt.
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“Some are working, a lot are not, even young vets, 20-some years old who are just getting out and they have this huge debt,” Ford said.
Covenant Pastor Stephen Hayes wanted to do something about the growing problem and asked RIP Medical Debt to search for debt owed by veterans.
“These men and women have laid their lives on the line and in most cases the debt they've accumulated medically is because or connected to the service they have given; to know that we can help them is just another layer of impact we just couldn't pass up,” Hayes said.
RIP Medical Debt founder, Craig Antico, buys old debt from doctors, hospitals, and ambulance companies and then forgives it.
He’s seen an increasing number of accounts belonging to veterans who don't have the means to pay it back.
“People think they have coverage for the VA but when they go to an ER visit a lot of time that doesn't get paid,” Antico said.
Antico said veterans often seek care outside of the VA and are left with those bills many times.
With donations from Covenant, he bought up some of their debt, along with the debt of other young families in the area.
In all, the church's donation helped more than 4,000 families erase a mountain of debt.
“The $100,000 you invested, Covenant paid off a total of $10,551,618,” Hayes told his congregation during Easter service.
Between Covenant's donation and the one made by our parent company, NBC-owned TV stations, and our viewers, $18 million in medical debt has been eliminated in North Texas in the past six weeks.
If you’d like to grow that number, here’s the link to help.