The world looks a lot different right now due to the coronavirus outbreak, and for some, a large amount of debt is starting to build up. But as we have seen throughout the weeks, there are so many good people and organizations stepping up to help others during this health crisis. One, in particular, is Harvest Fellowship ABQ. This local church decided what they could to help out during these trying times. So much so, in fact, they are now paying off $500,000 worth of medical debt in nine counties in New Mexico. We spoke with Pastor Jason Dickenson via Skype about how they were able to accomplish such an amazing act of kindness.
On Easter Sunday, they announced that the congregation of Harvest Fellowship ABQ has bought $503,275.80 of medical debt in Taos, Sierra, Santa Fe, Torrance, Cibola, Socorro, Rio Arriba, San Miguel, and Lincoln counties through RIP Medical Debt, a company that works with churches to buy large amounts of medical debt in a community at a fraction of the cost. The company uses precise data analytics to pinpoint medical debt of those most in need of relief. Households where their income is less than two times the federal poverty level guideline or are insolvent are eligible.
The church was able to buy the bundled debt at a cost much lower than that owed by the patients. The people in these households will be receiving a letter that their debt is GONE. No taxes, No penalties. This past Easter will be the turning point for many as their debts will be paid in full.
Harvest Church is doing this to support our New Mexico communities in this time of crisis and relieve the burden of financial insecurity for these families. It is their gift to the community.