NC Foundation Helps Erase $2.2 Million in Medical Debt
Wednesday, August 30, 2023
The burden of medical debt is not so heavy anymore for some lucky North Carolina residents.
The Coastal Credit Union Foundation partnered with the nonprofit RIP Medical Debt to wipe away some medical bills for about 1,200 people in central North Carolina. A grant of $17,000 was used to settle nearly $2.2 million in debt.
Joe Mecca, vice president of communications for the Coastal Credit Union Foundation, said the ripple effect of medical bills can take a toll on individuals' financial and emotional well-being, so the credit union was happy to help provide a pathway to a fresh start.
"Once they're able to get back on their feet from an occupational standpoint, they still have that medical debt looming over them," Mecca observed. "Clearing that out might be enough to get them back on the path to stability."
The problem of unpaid medical debt is a pressing issue in North Carolina, which ranks among the states with the highest percentages of medical debt in the country, according to a 2022 study by The Urban Institute.
The impact of medical debt is not limited to financial strain. The stress and anxiety associated as the bills mount can affect mental health as well. Adults facing medical debt are three times more likely to experience mental health concerns, according to a University of South Florida study.
Mecca emphasized helping to clear these balances is a small investment that can make a big difference.
"For us, it's just an extension of our mission and helping people achieve overall financial wellness," Mecca added. "This is the first time we've worked with this organization, and we're just really pleased with the overall impact that they were able to achieve with a relatively small grant from Coastal."
A study by the American Economic Association, found medical debt relief not only improves a person's overall well-being, but also improves their access to health care.
get more stories like this via email
California tribes are headed to the White House Tribal Nations Summit tomorrow, where they will ask Congress and the Biden administration to create …
A new report shows Maine is exceeding the home-heating goals set forth in its ambitious four-year climate plan to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions…
By India Gardener / Broadcast version by Nadia Ramlagan reporting for the Kent State-Ohio News Connection Collaboration. According to Attorney …
It's estimated that one in three Kentuckians struggles to pay medical bills, and the issue continues to be a driving factor in personal bankruptcy …
Senate lawmakers are soon expected to vote on the Modernizing Opioid Treatment Access Act, legislation introduced this year by Republican Sen…
Health and Wellness
A new program in Utah wants to help first responders learn to recognize and work through their traumatic life events through horsemanship. This …
Health and Wellness
A coalition of Nevada groups is behind a statewide effort to make Nevada an Employment First state. That would align the state with a U.S. Labor …
Government accountability groups want increased transparency in New York criminal court decisions. This comes after a new report finds only 6% of …