How to Pay Medical Bills Without Crowdfunding

A third of all donations through the popular crowdfunding site GoFundMe go to healthcare, which is not surprising given that the US has the highest healthcare costs in the developed world . However, crowdfunding has its limits as few campaigns meet or exceed their goal. You will want to exhaust all other options to help you cover your medical bills if you haven’t already.

Limits of crowdfunding

We often see the most successful crowdfunding campaigns on the internet when they go viral, but that doesn’t mean it’s a reliable way to cover your medical bills. One study found that only 10% of campaigns met their financial goal, averaging just 40% of their goal. About 10% of the campaigns in the study raised less than $ 100.

In addition, the platform rewards campaigns unevenly, as the most successful campaigns tend to reward users for their social media influence and video production skills at the expense of other groups of people, such as seniors or people living in extreme poverty who do not have access to The Internet. In general, crowdfunding rewards compelling stories presented as solvable problems, which is not always the case when it comes to healthcare needs.

Another problem is that crowdfunding is not regulated or monitored by healthcare professionals. This can create situations in which campaigns are successful, but they are intended for complementary medical procedures that will not be a cure or effective treatment, such as homeopathic remedies.

Of course, the system is what it is. Crowdfunding can be a useful tool when you are faced with exorbitant healthcare costs. However, you must first know all the possible options.

Other ways to cover medical expenses

If you have not already, think about federal programs and programs in the state that offer subsidies or health insurance, such as Medicaid , the program Medicare savings , the benefits of additional insurance income (the SSI) , Extra the Help (which covers drug expenditure) and program health insurance for children. (CHIP) . Some health care providers, such as hospitals, have programs that also offer financial assistance, but sometimes you will need to apply for Medicaid first.

Another good option is a simple bronze health insurance plan through Obamacare , as monthly premiums will be subsidized if you are below 400% of the poverty line. The deductible is high (approximately $ 6,500 per person), but the plan will cover you for unforeseen and costly medical emergencies.

Other options include:

  • Look here for state or local social service agencies that may offer subsidies or free services in your area. Also look for local community clinics that can offer similar services here .
  • The HealthWell Foundation provides financial assistance to help cover medical costs such as co-payments for prescription drugs, health insurance premiums, deductibles, and co-insurance. You can check your current open funds online.
  • The PAN Foundation offers financial assistance to low-income people with life-threatening, chronic and rare diseases. You can search for the disease-specific programs that are available here .
  • The National Association of Charitable Clinics is a network of 1,200 clinics throughout the United States that provides subsidized services to those in need, including dental, medical, pharmaceutical, ophthalmic, and other healthcare services.
  • Family Reach helps families battling cancer by helping pay for the daily living expenses. They also provide financial planning services to help people avoid bankruptcy from cancer treatments.
  • Some pharmaceutical companies have Patient Assistance Programs (PAP) that may offer free or low-cost drugs. Use this search tool to find PAPs by drug name.
  • United Way 2-1-1 offers free, confidential advice to help people get important health and social services.

You will also want to consider additional health, accident, disability, or life insurance as a way to prevent unexpected expenses that will subsequently overwhelm your budget.


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