Church wipes medical debt for thousands in Kentucky

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) — Thousands of Kentucky families are seeing their medical debt wiped out thanks to one church with many locations, including Lexington.

It started as a pastor from an Ohio location of Crossroads Church challenging his congregation to give to a group outside church walls.

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Now, Crossroads says it has helped pay off nearly $2-million worth of medical bills for more than 4,000 Kentucky families.

The effort, in total, cleared $46.5-million worth of medical debt for people in Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana and Tennessee.

It’s part of a partnership with RIP Medical Debt, a New York based non-profit with the goal of helping people burdened by medical debt by purchasing and paying it off.

Church leaders say back in the fall, Crossroads asked its members at 14 different locations if they would give to the cause.

Within 24 hours, enough money was raised to pay off all these debts.

RIP Medical Debt’s website says for every $100 donated, $10,000 in medical debt is forgiven.

“We know that 66% of the people that file bankruptcy, file bankruptcy because of medical debt so this is something we looked into, realized that we could make a big difference and so we decided to partner up with them,” says Bryan Carter, community pastor at Crossroads Lexington.

Pastor Carter says people are being notified of the good news by a big yellow envelope coming in through the mail.

The church says this is the biggest debt relief campaign the non-profit has done with a single partner.

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Christy Bollinger joined the ABC 36 news team as a reporter in March 2018. Christy comes from a little western Kentucky town called Cadiz. She graduated from Western Kentucky University in May 2017 with degrees in Broadcast Journalism and Criminology. Christy is thrilled to be working at her dream job in her home state. She is passionate about storytelling and you can see her weekdays on ABC 36 News at 5 and 6 p.m. She's covered everything from visits from the sitting president and vice president, to high-profile murder cases. When not chasing stories, Christy loves nothing more than being at the beach and says life is just better with sand between your toes and waves crashing at your feet. She is also a big animal lover. She's a fur momma and her mini-Australian Shepherd, Milly, standard Australian Shepherd, Bennie, and her Maine Coon, Cheeto, are the loves of her life. Christy encourages you to send her any story ideas you may have. Find her on Facebook at Christy Bollinger ABC 36, tweet her @ChristyB_news, or email her at CBollinger@wtvq.com.