Insurance broker helps erase $2.1M in medical debt

Employees of Alera Group, an insurance broker in Newport Beach, Calif., donated money to pay off $2.1 million in medical debt for community members who live at or below 200 percent of the poverty line in Orange County, according to local station KABC-TV.

More than 80 employees participated in the initiative, which was a partnership between Alera Group and nonprofit RIP Medical Debt. For every $100 donated, RIP Medical Debt forgives $10,000 in medical debt.

Matt Hanson, a managing partner at Alera Group, told KABC-TV he was inspired to launch the initiative at his company after learning that a local church had partnered with the nonprofit to erase $5.3 million in medical debt. RIP Medical Debt also made headlines in December, as Spokane Valley, Wash.-based church Valley Real Life partnered with the nonprofit for its annual holiday fundraiser and erased about $21 million of medical debt.

"It's the one debt that you don't elect to take on," Mr. Hanson said. "You may have elected to take on college debt, you may have elected to take on a car loan, or what have you. Nobody wakes up and goes, 'You know what? I just feel like spending a little extra money on my healthcare today.'"

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