Medical Debt Forgiveness
Romans 13:8-Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another….
The Presbytery of Santa Fe has joined with Presbyterian Healthcare Foundation (PHF), a 501(c)(3) organization, in an exciting new partnership to ease a crisis facing many New Mexicans: crushing medical debt.
Medical debt is not usually the result of unwise decisions but of unforeseen circumstances. It can be devastating to those living on the margins, and is especially hard on the elderly, on veterans, and on the poor. New Mexico is the third poorest state in the U.S. Recent data cited by the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty shows the following:
- Nearly one in four New Mexicans have medical debt in collections.
- 59% of all negative items on consumer credit reports are due to medical debt.
- 37% of adults who have a problem with medical bills used up all of their savings to pay these bills.
- Patients with medical bill problems are three times more likely to postpone needed care.
We now have a wonderful opportunity to lighten the burden of medical debt for many New Mexicans. The partnership between the Presbytery of Santa Fe and PHF will allow donations collected by the Presbytery to purchase uncollectible medical debt owed to Presbyterian Healthcare Services (PHS) at the rate of $0.07 on the dollar. PHS will write off the remaining $0.93. Patients who receive debt forgiveness will be randomly selected using an algorithm based on Federal Poverty Guidelines, with a focus on those who work, sometimes at multiple jobs, but do not earn enough to live on. PHS provides 100% financial assistance to all patients with incomes at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guideline, so the program will aim to help those that do not qualify for total assistance. Every patient whose debt is forgiven will be notified by PHS that a financial contribution from the churches of the Presbytery of Santa Fe has covered their debt.
Our goal as a Presbytery is to raise $30,000.00 by 12/31/2022, which will fund approximately $420,000.00 of medical debt relief. The potential benefits and blessings to the people of New Mexico are enormous, as PHS operates nine hospitals and serves one in three New Mexicans with healthcare or coverage. Following is how your congregation can be a part of this exciting partnership.
All donations should be made through the Presbytery of Santa Fe:
- Electronic payment (debit, credit, or PayPal) can be made through the Donate button on the Presbytery website. Select Use this donation for Medical Debt Relief
- Checks can be mailed to Presbytery of Santa Fe, 217 Locust St NE, Albuquerque, NM, 87102. Indicate Medical Debt Relief in the memo.
Please reach out to Tiffany for help with donations or fundraising efforts.