Covenant Church gave over $100,000 to pay off over $10 million in medical debt for families located near their four locations in Texas. Over 4,000 families in North Texas had their medical debt eliminated near the Easter holidays. The amount was arrived at because the church normally sets aside a large amount of money for advertising for their Resurrection Sunday services. This year, however, they decided to forego advertising in lieu of buying medical debt to help families living within 20 miles of one of their congregations.
Pastor Stephen Hayes understands the problem of medical debt first hand. When he was still a boy he was struck by a car and spent many days in intensive care. His church family helped to pay those bills, and he is now thankful that he leads a church that is doing the same for others.
The first group to have their medical bills paid were veterans. While many veterans get free medical care through the Veterans Administration, when they have to seek treatment at a hospital emergency room those bills are often not covered. After the church felt that they had covered all veterans, then they moved on to paying debts for other families.
One of the reasons that the church was able to help so many different families is that old medical debt can often be bought for pennies on the dollar. The only way that families knew that their medical debt had been paid off was that they received a letter telling them that their debt had been eliminated.