New Birth donation helps South DeKalb residents erase $1.3 Million in medical debt

LITHONIA, Ga. (CBS46) -- More than 1,200 South DeKalb residents will start the new year without medical debt thanks to a donation from New Birth Missionary Baptist Church.

Senior Pastor Dr. Jamal Harrison Bryant partnered with RIP Medical Debt, a New York-based nonprofit organization, to wipe out $1.3 million in medical debt for people residing in the 30038 zip code.

New Birth launched its medical debt relief efforts in December, just in time for a Christmas surprise. Bryant said thanks to the generous donations from the New Birth congregation, these families were able to have their medical bills completely forgiven. 

“We are blessed to be a blessing and this effort has truly help families start the new year without the stress, worry and concern that often accompanies looming medical bills and calls from debt collectors,” Bryant continued.

Bryant noted that medical issues and subsequent bills can wreak havoc on a family’s finances, leading some down a path of bad credit or left with reservations about even seeking medical attention for fear of the costs for services.

According to national statistics, 66% of bankruptcies are related to medical debt issues with 25% of credit card debt in the United States being attributed to medical bills and fees.

“We wanted this effort to specifically impact those in the Stonecrest area and provide some needed relief as we enter into an exciting new year and decade.”  added Dr. Bryant. 

Recently, Atlanta Hawks star Trae Young, through the Trae Young Foundation, partnered with RIP Medical Debt to erase $1 million in medical debt.

To learn more about RIP Medical Debt, click here.

Copyright 2019 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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