How Crowdfunding Can Help Pay Medical Bills

Crowdfunding can help pay for medical bills… it really is that simple. You can crowdfund for just about anything, including medical bills. Many times people are placed in a medical crisis and aren’t sure where to turn. Medical bills can accumulate in no time and medical bankruptcy is a real thing. You’d be amazed by how many people in “your own crowd” are willing to help.

In a study published in January 2014 from the Center For Disease Control (CDC), one in four families experienced financial burdens of medical care.

This “financial burden” of medical care equates to medical bills that they can’t currently pay and are forced to pay monthly over time.

This study goes on to share that families with lower incomes were more likely to experience the financial burdens of medical care. Those families with incomes at or below 250% of the federal poverty level had the highest levels of any financial burden of medical care.

250% of the federal poverty level (based on guidelines for 2013) means that a family of four with an annual income of $58,875 or lower were at the highest level of the population feeling the financial burden of medical care for a loved one. That’s our middle class America. Those are the families living paycheck to paycheck and not prepared for a medical crisis.

The is a baby with his eyes closed and an oxygen canula in his nose. He was born with a bad heart, a weak immune system, and problems eating which caused a condition labeled by doctors as “failure to thrive”. Isaac spent the first year of his life in and out of hospitals in Las Vegas and at Stanford where he underwent multiple heart catheterizations and procedures, open heart surgeries, and had a feeding tube placed surgically to ensure he received the proper amount of nutrients. Isaac’s family had great insurance, covering 80% of all medical costs. But, they still spent over $100,000 out-of-pocket the first year of his life in deductibles and medical related expenses.

Shocking… right?

I know… My name is Kathy, and I’m Isaac’s mom.

I remember people asking us if they could have fundraisers for us, give us money… they would offer to do anything just to help. At that time, I could not have imagined the costs that we would incur, nor could I imagine all the things that insurance doesn’t cover. You assume that you pay for insurance, you’ll have a deductible… The End.

If that were only so.

Words of Advice:

Start a Crowdfunding Campaign Immediately

Don’t be too humble to let other people offer to help you. You really can’t imagine the costs of things in the medical world and how they add up. It is TOO hard to think about money when you’re talking about the healthcare of someone you love. You want anything and everything done… you’ll worry about the bills later.

From a Mom that’s Been There

Don’t expect the people in the middle of a medical crisis to be thinking clearly (well, I sure wasn’t). If you’re related to the family or just a loving friend… talk to them about the medical bills and the reality of the situation. Talk with them about what they need now and what their needs may be in the future and help them come up with a budget and plan to get everything their loved one needs. From bills, equipment, therapy sessions… even therapy dogs, all these things can be a necessity now or in the future.

How exactly will crowdfunding help pay my medical bills?

Well, they can’t send a check to the hospital for you, but they can offer you a platform that will help you tell your story as well as share it with your friends and family. The right crowdfunding platform will provide support for you all along the way, from guidance writing your story, picking pictures to post, sharing on the social media channels, and even help writing press releases to get national exposure.

Crowdfunding can help you pay for your medical bills by allowing YOU to take care of your family and letting your “crowd” help YOU. Donations will be made by people you have inspired and want to help you. These people will have a platform to donate to you on their schedule and an amount that is within their means. They will be assured that the funds are going directly to YOU and not an anonymous organization.

You are not alone in your medical crisis. Crowdfunding is a viable source for helping to pay for medical bills and other medical related necessities.

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Medical Debt No 1 Cause Of Filing for Bankruptcy

Medical debt is the leading cause of filing for bankruptcy in the United States. Medical debt can be accrued in a number of ways, but is most often due to a lack of proper health insurance or unforeseen medical conditions and emergencies that are not adequately covered by insurance policies. With the advent of the Affordable Care Act many people are hoping that this trend will not continue, but as of right now it remains a very real and pressing concern for millions of Americans, many of whom are faced with overwhelming debt and unsure where to turn.

Reasons for Medical Debt

A recent study showed that 62% of households facing major debt cited medical debt as a big part of their problem. These debts come in the form of unexpected emergency room visits, which can be expensive even if a person has health insurance and are prohibitively so if the person does not. They also come in the form of dental work, which is a separate kind of insurance not generally covered by basic health plans. Dental work can easily run into the thousands of dollars, and is the kind of work that, when needed, is absolutely needed ASAP.

Another huge factor in outstanding medical debt that gives people thoughts of filing for bankruptcy is the out-of-pocket costs of prescription medications. Prescription drugs can cost an arm and a leg, and are notoriously difficult to get covered under typical health insurance plans.

Health conditions that lead to skyrocketing debt are generally related to obesity and to the effects of age, and those suffering from such conditions and the associated debts are filing for bankruptcy at an increasing rate.

Another worrying statistic in the study is that households already saddled with medical debt are less likely to seek treatment when needed, wishing to avoid further debt burden and filing for bankruptcy.

In addition, even after filing for bankruptcy, which can clear giant chunks of unsecured debt, many people are afraid to go in for new treatment, since they likely would still not have proper insurance and would not be able to discharge new medical debt for several years after the initial discharge.

1.7 million people will be filing for bankruptcy due to medical debt this year, the study estimates. Luckily the protections offered by filing for bankruptcy are strong and able to discharge most of the debts incurred by those suffering from poor health or accidents – but the larger issue is that poor health and accidents are a reality of life, and it feels like something is inherently wrong when a system fails to account for these realities in a meaningful way.

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Medical Emergencies: Leading Cause of Bankruptcies in America

There are several reasons people file for bankruptcy. What may come as shocking news is that most people are a SINGLE major health issue away from considering bankruptcy as an option. How can this be when majority of families have some form of health insurance? For one thing, it all depends on a number of circumstances. Here are a few examples of what needs to be considered:

• What type of insurance you have
• What sort of medical issue you have
• What is the co-pay percentage

Medical bills are actually the biggest cause of bankruptcies within the United States. In 2013 alone, almost 2 million people had filed for bankruptcy citing medical bills as their reasons. Even health insurance provides minimal help in preventing these cases.

Why?

One reason is that the average co-pay in most plans is 20%. This works out well for check-ups and minor injuries but if you happen to contract a major illness or get in a serious accident, you could possibly rack up a bill over $50,000 where you would need to cover 20% or $10,000 along with the deductible. For just about anybody, this would be a life-changing tragedy that necessitates seeing a bankruptcy lawyer.

Who are affected?

Of those who have stated medical bills as their reasons for filing bankruptcy, 78% of them had medical insurance of some sort. Most of those affected were educated middle-class families. 1 out of 5 Americans will face problems paying medical bills this year. Accidents and life-changing diagnosis can happen to anybody.

Even with proper savings and good spending habits, the burden of some medical bills is simply too much for most people to handle. This is a problem that an estimated 56 million Americans will need to face this year alone.

What can happen?

Seeing as most health care institutions employ their own means of collecting debts, overdue health bills are treated the same way as other types of debt regardless of the fact if you are now incapable of maintaining your job due to your health issue. You can expect similar means of debt collection such as multiple phone calls, court ordered actions, and other harassing techniques.

How to address the issue?

Bankruptcy is, and should always be, considered as the final option and should only be seriously considered once all other options are exhausted. Lawyers that specialized in bankruptcy are also experts when it comes to finding working solutions for debts. Your best course of action would be to seek the assistance of a bankruptcy lawyer as soon as you are facing a massive medical bill.

The common belief is that credit card debt or mortgages are the main causes for filing for bankruptcy. Most people are caught blindsided by such big bills that they find themselves at a loss for what to do. Simply having the knowledge that 3 out of every 5 bankruptcies are caused by medical bills is already a good start. Knowing is always half the battle and it always beats being caught off-guard.

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