Church Organization in Kansas, Oklahoma Pays Medical Debts - Word&Way

Church Organization in Kansas, Oklahoma Pays Medical Debts

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Medical debts totaling more than $5.2 million owed by more than 3,200 families in Kansas and Oklahoma have been paid through a project of the United Church of Christ Kansas-Oklahoma Conference, church officials said Tuesday (Nov. 24).

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“As a result of our campaign that netted $40,000, with that $40,000 we were able to abolish $5,211,729 in medical debt” for more than 3,200 families in 76 counties in Kansas and 60 Oklahoma counties, according to conference President Bobbie Henderson of Tulsa.

The money was sent to New York-based RIP Medical Debt, an non-profit organization that purchased the debt at a discount and forgave the amount owed. The medical debt forgiveness project began in 2019 and has now eliminated about $57 million in medical debt nationwide, according to a statement from the UCC.

The average amount forgiven per household was $1,612.54, according to the church. The church does not know who the recipients are, said spokesperson Connie Larkman. The UCC, based in Cleveland, has 40 churches in Kansas, 13 in Oklahoma and about 7,000 members in the two states, according to UCC Minister Edith Guffey of Lawrence, Kansas.