Florida church pays off $1.6 million in medical debt for 1,300 residents

LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) — More than 1,300 residents of one central Florida city will receive an unexpected letter in the mail about a Thanksgiving gift made by a Lakeland church.

The Lakeland Ledger reports the congregation of Access Church has paid off $1.62 million of outstanding medical debt for low-income Lakeland residents.

Ryan Jordan, the executive pastor at Access Church, said earlier this year a member brought forward the idea of addressing medical debts.

Access Church partnered with New York-based nonprofit organization RIP Medical Debt to research the past-due medical debts owed by Lakeland city residents with incomes at or below 50% of the federal poverty line. The total was more than $3 million.

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