Church helps pay off $1.8M in medical debts


A West Michigan church is helping to pay off more than $1.8 million in medical debt for families.

Grand Rapids First church in Wyoming is working with Rye, New York-based nonprofit RIP Medical Debt on the effort. Nearly 1,900 randomly selected families from Kent, Ottawa, Allegan and Ionia counties are getting letters informing them that the debts are being paid off.

Those involved in the effort say a donation of $15,000 from the church is allowing RIP to purchase the debt.

RIP acquires packages of overdue charges for a fraction of their value and forgives them. It's worked with other organizations, including the Michigan Nurses Association and an Indiana church , to clear medical debts.

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