By: Christopher Brito | CBS News
January 8, 2020
Atlanta Hawks star Trae Young has canceled more than $1 million in medical debt for residents in the city. The second-year NBA pro teamed up with RIP Medical Debt, a nonprofit that takes care of past-due medical debts.
Young made a donation of $10,000 through his organization, the Trae Young Foundation, to target relief in the greater Atlanta area, RIP Medical announced Wednesday.
"The city of Atlanta has welcomed me with open arms," Young said in a statement. "Giving back to this community is extremely important to me. I hope these families can find a bit of relief knowing that their bills have been taken care of as we enter the New Year."
He later tweeted, "Blessed to have such a Great Team around me to help me make this happen!!"
His charitable act removes $1,059,186.39 worth of medical debt, RIP Medical said, since the organization uses donated funds to purchase debt from a secondary debt market at a lower price.
Because the debt is bought in large portfolios, RIP Medical spokesperson Daniel Lempert told CBS News that on average, every $1 donated relieves $100 worth of medical debt. Those who qualify for RIP Medical debt forgiveness are people earning less than twice the federal poverty level, people in financial hardship and others facing insolvency, as explained on RIP Medical's FAQ page.
"The nonprofit is always thrilled to work with local campaigners because it focuses relief on a specific location and makes it personal for the donor," Lempert explained. "We're very pleased with Trae's promise and renown can make such a powerful statement and hopefully set a really great example for the fans that look up to him."