Secret Santas: Charity buys and erases past-due medical debt
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - After a lifetime collecting debts, Jerry Ashton and Craig Antico are eliminating them.
The co-founders of RIP Medical Debt buy millions of dollars in past-due medical debt for pennies on the dollar. But instead of hounding people to pay, they send letters saying the debt is erased, no strings attached.
The Rye, New York-based organization uses donated money to erase crushing medical debt that threatens the financial well-being of thousands of American families. The charity says it has erased $475 million in debt for more than 250,000 people since it was founded four years ago.
Ashton says it's their best interim solution for unpayable medical debt until a better financial structure is worked out for the U.S. health care system.
This holiday season, RIP is using a $2 million anonymous donation to erase $250 million in debts, including $50 million for veterans.