RIP Medical Debt

RIP Medical Debt

We did it!  Together, the Southern New England Conference erased $26.2 Million in Medical Debt by raising more than $200,000.

Read the article and watch the press conference here

Questions? Contact Lee Gagen




One of the first justice actions we will take as the new Southern New England Conference is to work together to make a difference in the lives of those saddled by medical debt in our region.

Medical debt is a huge problem, causing the poorest among us to cut back on some of the most important necessities including food and clothing while simultaneously putting them at risk of having needed heath care services refused.

It is also a problem that can be addressed. With every $100 we raise, we can  eliminate $10,000 in medical debt in some of the neediest Southern New England communities, including Springfield, MA, Bridgeport and Hartford, CT, and Providence, RI.  We will do this by working together with New York-based nonprofit, RIP Medical Debt, the same organization that worked with Chicago area churches to erase $5.3 million in debt and with St. Louis area churches to erase $12.9 million there.

Our goal is for 100% participation: to have every one of our 600 congregations contribute to this effort. We are asking every congregation to consider contributing 1% of their total income to this initiative.  Some ideas on how to raise the funds:

  • Hold a special collection or community fundraiser
  • Contribute mission budget dollars
  • Dedicate all or a portion of the Easter offering

Spread the word in your congregation!  Download bulletin inserts here.

Read the letter from the Bridge Conference Ministers regarding this effort here.

How to Donate

The deadline for contributions to this initiative is Monday, May 18.  We will post updates and lists of donors on this site as we move toward our goal and our deadline.

Congregations can submit donations online here, or mail gifts to one of the offices of the SNEUCC:  SNEUCC Framingham Office,  1 Badger Road, Framingham, MA 01702 or SNEUCC Hartford Office, 125 Sherman Street, Hartford, CT 06105Please be sure to include a note that this is for the Retiring Medical Debt Initiative. 

Individuals can donate online here.


UCC abolishes $12.9 million in medical debt in St. Louis, continuing national initiative
United Church News, Jan. 19, 2020

UCC celebrates Giving Tuesday generosity, maps next medical debt buys
United Church News, Dec. 10, 2019

UCC forgives millions in debt in Chicago, announces national effort
United Church News, Oct. 21, 2019

Background Information:

The following is from the RIP Medical Debt website's FAQs:

Who qualifies for debt forgiveness?

When we purchase a portfolio of medical debt, we abolish debt for individuals who:

  • Earn less than 2x the federal poverty level (varies by state, family size).
  • Debts are 5 percent or more of annual income.
  • Facing insolvency — debts are greater than assets.

We only buy debt that has been pre-qualified by our partners to meet at least one of these three criteria. 

We never collect on debt we purchase, only forgive it.

Do recipients of debt forgiveness have any adverse consequences?

No. With your help, we abolish medical debt permanently. Recipients have no adverse tax consequences, obligations, or strings attached.

For those whose medical debts are forgiven, the forgiveness is a gift from a detached and disinterested third party (RIP) as an act of generosity, so forgiveness of the debt does not count as income to the debtor. We will not file a Form 1099-C with the IRS.

Read also:

Five things you may not know about the $1 trillion in medical debt owed by Americans
 Sacramento Bee, April 10, 2019




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Framingham, MA Office

1 Badger Road
Framingham, MA 01702

Hartford, CT Office

125 Sherman Street
Hartford, CT 06105

Toll Free Phone: 866-367-2822
Fax: 866-367-0860
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