Illustration for article titled How To Pay Your Medical Bills Without CrowdfundingPhoto: Blue Planet Studio (Shutterstock)

ON third Of all donations made through the popular crowdfunding website, GoFundMe, are for medical care, which is not surprising given the US has the crowdfunding website highest healthcare costs in industrialized countries. However, crowdfunding has its limits as few campaigns achieve or exceed their goal. You should try all other options to pay medical bills if you haven’t already.

The limits of crowdfunding

We often see the most successful crowdfunding campaigns online when they go viral. However, that doesn’t mean it is a reliable way to get your medical bills back. One study It found that only 10% of the campaigns achieved their financial goal and, on average, only achieved 40% of their goal. About 10% of the campaigns in the study raised less than $ 100.

Additionally, the platform rewards campaigns unequally, as the most successful campaigns tend to reward users for their social media clout and video production skills, at the expense of other groups of people, such as the elderly or people in extreme poverty with no internet access . In general, crowdfunding rewards compelling stories presented as solvable problems, which is not always the case with health needs.

Illustration for article titled How To Pay Your Medical Bills Without Crowdfunding

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Another problem is that crowdfunding is unregulated and not supervised by medical professionals. This can lead to situations where campaigns are successful, but for marginal medical treatments that are not 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 the exorbitant cost of health care. However, you should also know all of your options first.

Other ways to cover medical expenses

If you haven’t already, consider federal and state programs that offer subsidies or medical care, such as: Medicaid, the Medicare savings programs, Additional Security Income (SSI), Extra help (which covers the drug costs) and the Child Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Some health care providers such as hospitals offer programs that also provide financial assistance. However, sometimes you need to apply for Medicaid first.

Another great option is simple bronze health insurance Obamacareas the monthly premiums are subsidized when you are below 400% of the poverty line. The deductible is high (approximately $ 6,500 for a single person), but the plan has you covered for unexpected, costly medical emergencies.

Other options are:

  • Check here for state or local welfare agencies that may offer subsidies or free services in your area. Also, look for clinics in the neighborhood that may offer similar services Here.
  • The HealthWell Foundation offers financial support to help with medical expenses like copays for prescription drugs, health insurance premiums, deductibles, and co-insurance. You can check them out current open funds on-line.
  • The PAN Foundation offers financial support to underinsured people with life-threatening, chronic and rare diseases. You can search for available disease-specific programs Here.
  • The National Association of Charitable Clinics is a network of 1,200 clinics across the United States that provide subsidized services to those in need, including dental, medical, pharmacy, vision, and other health services.
  • Family reach helps families battling cancer by helping to cover daily living expenses. They also offer financial planning services to help people avoid bankruptcies as a result of cancer treatment.
  • Some drug companies offer patient assistance programs (PAPs) that may offer free or low-cost drugs. Use that Search tool Find PAPs with the name of the drug.
  • United Way’s 2-1-1 program provides free, confidential advice that connects people with critical health and HR services.

You should also consider additional health, accident, disability, or life insurance to prevent unexpected costs from overwhelming your budget later.