An Iowa church bought and forgave $5 million in medical debt

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  • A church in Iowa bought and forgave $5 million of medical debt in the state.
  • Rev. Minna Bothwell of a church in Des Moines told the Des Moines Register that the church was able to purchase $5 million of Iowa's medical debt for around $8,000 by partnering with "RIP Medical Debt," an organization that purchases and then abolishes debt.
  • During the coronavirus pandemic, many Americans have suffered expensive medical bills.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

A church in Iowa says it bought and forgave $5 million of medical debt in the state.

Capitol Hill Lutheran Church in Des Moines, Iowa, announced last month in a video that the church had purchased and forgiven $5 million of Iowa's medical debt.

According to the church's "medical debt relief campaign" website, the church partnered with "RIP Medical Debt," an organization that purchases and then abolishes debt. The church said on its website that "on average, $1 is leveraged to abolish $100 in medical debt."

Rev. Minna Bothwell of the Capitol Hill Lutheran Church told the Des Moines Register that the church could purchase $5 million of Iowa's medical debt for around $8,000.

The church started another fundraiser to purchase and forgive medical debt in Missouri, a contiguous state of Iowa. According to the campaign website, the church has surpassed its goal to raise $20,000.

Earlier this year, Atlanta Hawks star Trae Young's organization also bought and forgave $1 million in medical debt through a $10,000 donation to RIP Medical Debt, Insider's Kelly McLaughlin reported.

During the coronavirus pandemic, many Americans have had to suffer the toll of paying expensive medical bills.

For example, an uninsured patient from New York City received a bill of over $30,000 after staying three nights at the hospital for coronavirus treatment, Business Insider's Kimberly Leonard reported in May.

One bankruptcy lawyer told Business Insider's Hillary Hoffower that the pandemic could increase bankruptcies. 

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