When you or a loved one faces an unexpected illness or injury, it may seem impossible to pay the medical bills. By launching a medical fundraiser online, you can access the money you need to cover treatments without going bankrupt. YouCaring fundraisers help you pay medical fees through the generosity of friends, relatives, and those who relate to your struggle. No one should face exorbitant medical bills alone, especially not a family that’s already grappling with the emotional toll of a life-threatening illness. In this blog, you will learn how to pay medical bills with crowdfunding and how it allows you to keep your relatives, friends, and community up-to-date on your progress, and provides them with an easy and effective way to help you or a loved one.
Facts About Disease and Medical Expenses
- The average hospital stay costs $9,700, but that figure varies widely for patients, based on the type of insurance coverage (if any) and the treatment needed.
- 25 percent of the U.S. population was reported to have one or more of these five major chronic conditions:
- Mood disorders
- Heart disease
- Expenses for people with one chronic condition were twice the amount of those without any, and expenses for people with multiple chronic conditions were up to seven times the amount faced by people with only one (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality).
- Heart disease, cancer, and chronic lower respiratory diseases are the top three causes of death in the U.S. (CDC). Treatments for these three ailments can run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, often incurring unaffordable expenses for families already in pain.
We know it can be hard to sort through the different financial resources available to you, so we’ve gathered some of the most common ways to get help to get you back on the road to good health before you know it.
The Impact of Medical BillsIf you’re struggling with the payment of your medical expenses, you’re not alone. In a 2012 survey, the Center for Disease Control found that one in three Americans was in a family experiencing financial burden from medical care.
Struggles with medical expenses can lead individuals to file for bankruptcy – some research agencies have even declared medical bills the top reason for filing bankruptcy.
Yet despite these astounding findings showing a widespread struggle with medical expenses, many people are still afraid to ask for help.
Where to look for help
Talking to your doctor is the easiest place to start looking for help with medical bills, as intimidating as it might seem. Don’t be afraid to bring up the topic of finances at any point during your treatment – it’s actually been proven to help patients afford care.
Why it pays to ask – by reviewing your prescriptions and treatment plan, your doctor can suggest more affordable alternatives based on your budget and insurance coverage.
Government resources can be another excellent source of financial help for those who are eligible to receive benefits. Here are some places to start:
- Call your state Medicare program to see if you qualify for state or federal financial help with medical treatment.
- The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provides financial aid for children coming from families that don’t qualify for Medicaid, but can’t afford private insurance coverage. See if your family qualifies for CHIP and learn how to apply.
- The Health Resources and Service Administration has a variety of programs providing affordable care to those struggling with medical expenses. Eligibility for free and reduced-cost care is based on a patient’s income and insurance status.
- Nonprofits can also be a source of additional financial help, although they may not have enough resources to provide help for everyone. Consult a list of charities and nonprofit organizations to see if any of them apply to you.
Beyond financial support
Someone suffering from a serious illness requiring extensive medical treatment may need more than just financial support to get back on his or her feet. Meeting people who have been through the same medical hardships and have successfully overcome them can be inspiring to patients who are currently going through treatment. Patients can find support groups specific to their illness in almost every major city in the United States.
Often distance can make it hard for friends and family to show their support of a loved one who is battling illness. Starting a crowdfunding campaign can help bring a community together in support of their loved one despite geographic obstacles. By creating a platform for friends and family to donate money and leave encouraging comments to a loved one, online fundraising profiles make the distance less daunting. Patients can also post videos, photos, and text updates to their profile to stay connected with their support system while getting help with medical bills that could otherwise be burdensome. So start a fundraiser today and tap into your support network to chip away at medical expenses and be back on the road to health.
Medical disasters can strike anyone, anywhere
Medical crises cut across cultural, geographic, and social differences. No one is immune to sickness and death. By adulthood, many have personally faced a serious illness or have seen a loved one suffer. Perhaps this is why medical crowdfunding is so successful. Beyond your immediate community, you are able to reach people from all over the world who resonate to your problem and want to help pay your medical bills. Families who have gone through similar hardships offer words of encouragement, and in some of life’s toughest moments, you can take comfort in the outpouring of support and love you receive, from even beyond your circle of friends.
Watch your community rally behind you
Online crowdfunding works by sharing a fundraiser story with family, friends, and your community through social networks, who in turn can share your cause. Telling your deeply personal story openly and honestly takes courage to expose it to others. The irony is you show strength in asking for help from others, who then feel compassionate and offer to help you. By offering to repay their generosity in the future, you show your commitment to giving back to someone else. YouCaring knows that kindness is powerful and all of us need support to get through life’s most difficult times.
A health crisis can happen in the blink of an eye
Unfortunately, Maciu Vosa, rugby player and father of two, learned this through tragedy. He suffered a spinal injury during a match that paralyzed his body from his upper chest down. Injured from playing the sport he loved, Maciu also faced supporting his family, adjusting to his new, much less mobile life, and paying for rehabilitation expenses. But Melbourne Community Rugby turned to YouCaring, hoping that people who learned about his predicament would feel compelled to act. So far, the fundraiser, Maciu Vosa Needs Your Help, has raised nearly $100,000 in donations.
Without health insurance, medical expenses pile up quickly
For example, an emergency room visit without insurance typically costs anywhere from $150-$3,000 out of pocket, depending on the severity of the condition and what diagnostic tests and treatments are performed. In some cases, especially where critical care is required and/or a procedure or surgery is performed, the cost could reach $20,000 or more. If someone in the U.S. suffered an injury like Maciu’s, their financial burden would be devastating because they would have to take on the burden of paying medical bills without insurance.
Surgical costs vary widely
Another major frustration for families undergoing financial hardship is the sense of helplessness. Often it’s difficult to predict what the medical expenses for an illness or injury will be, let alone figure out a viable plan to pay them. A study featured in the NY Daily News showed that many hospitals have difficulty estimating the price of a routine surgery. A healthy patient without insurance wanting a hip replacement could expect the cost to be as little as $11,000 or as much as $126,000, the study found. Crowdfunding helps you take the guesswork out of medical fundraising. You can use the funds for ongoing treatments as donations continue to come in. Daily withdrawals make it easy to pay medical bills over time.
Quickly raise the money you need to pay medical bills
Crowdfunding allows you to explore alternative treatments that may not be covered by insurance, so you can take comfort in knowing you do all you possibly can for a loved one in pain. Illnesses and injuries can make you feel like you’ve lost all control over your family’s future, but there is hope through online crowdfunding.