WeTransfer, the company that supports creativity with tools to move ideas, and Headspace, a global mindfulness brand whose aim is to improve the health and happiness of the world, announced they have partnered to forgive nearly $30 million of medical debt for those facing financial hardship in the city of Los Angeles. WeTransfer and Headspace are working together with RIP Medical Debt, a non-profit organization that locates, buys and forgives medical debt for pennies on the dollar on behalf of individuals, foundations and corporations to clear medical debt for those in need. Additional donors include ZEFR and The Chernin Group, along with local Los Angeles based philanthropists and community leaders. This is the largest local campaign in RIP Medical Debt’s history.
In early 2019, WeTransfer released “On Companies and Communities,” an in-depth guideline on how growing tech companies can better engage with and support their new communities. Given that 60 percent of U.S. personal bankruptcies are due to medical debt, and consequently a leading source for homelessness, WeTransfer and Headspace saw an opportunity to make an impact locally and began meeting with potential like-minded partners.
“We chose to tackle medical debt because it’s an impactful way to make a real difference for residents who are struggling to pay their bills and make a dent in larger issues that medical debt can lead to like homelessness,” Damian Bradfield, President and CMO of WeTransfer, said. “We are thrilled to have partnered with Headspace, an incredible company whose values to help the world with their health and happiness aligns perfectly with this initiative.”
“We are excited to partner on an initiative that directly impacts the health and happiness of our community,” said Rich Pierson, CEO of Headspace. “Two-thirds of Americans say that the cost of healthcare is a major stressor in their lives, and we’re honored to help relieve some of this mental stress on a large scale and hope that we can do more in the future.”
“A medical emergency can be a matter of life and death, yet it is too often a path to financial loss and endless debt for American families,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “No one should fall on hard times because of a health crisis – and the partners in this effort are showing how alliances between the public, private, and non-profit sectors can help us reduce medical bankruptcies and ensure more financial stability for people who need help.”
RIP is able to purchase bundled medical debt; $1 donated relieves $100 of medical debt. Please visit www.ripmedicaldebt.org to learn more about this program and start a campaign in your community.