Hit hard by medical expenses? Checkout this touching article from Today’s Parent on the skyrocketing cost of care and how one of our MedGift families is managing through this national dilemma.
From the article:
The family turned to medical crowdfunding to pay their expenses. The first year, they had a campaign on MedGift, an Atlanta-based crowdfunding platform, that raised $28,000. “We have an amazing community,” Keely says. “People were so generous and they just saved us.” The online campaign has raised more than $38,000 to date.
In Lula’s second year of treatment, which included ongoing MRIs and other scans to monitor the cancer’s retreat, as well as surgery to remove the majority of the tumor (due to its size and characteristics, the entire tumor could not be safely removed), the family raised $5,000. This year, they have raised $2,000, but their insurance deductible under the Affordable Care Act has risen to $14,000.
“People get ‘giving fatigue’ and I get ‘asking fatigue,’” says Keely. “But each time Lula needs her scans, it costs $29,000. We meet the deductible each year with the first scan.” The family foresees maxing out their deductible for the next three years as the scans continue, then “hopefully, life will go back to how it was before.”
The state of crowdfunding
More people like Keely and Beau are turning to crowdfunding websites to help raise money for expenses not covered by their health insurance plans. “With rising healthcare costs and widespread inadequate coverage, the burden of major medical expenses is falling more and more on the shoulders of individual Americans,” says Maly Ly, the chief marketing officer of YouCaring, a site that calls itself the leader in online fundraising. “Although many of those fundraising through YouCaring have medical insurance, significant medical hardship often leaves them unable to pay for high deductibles, continuing costs, special procedures or medically necessary travel.”
According to a 2017 Federal Reserve study, 44 percent of all Americans can’t afford $400 in an emergency, and 25 percent have skipped medical treatments in the past year due to cost. Ly says the personal crowdfunding industry has grown 50 percent every year since 2011. Crowdfunding campaigns related to medical issues have comprised about a third of all the money raised on GoFundMe, the world’s largest social-fundraising platform, according to the site’s CEO, Rob Solomon. Since its inception in 2010, GoFundMe has raised more than $5 billion through 50 million donors.
“Access to insurance is a huge issue, and many people are falling through the cracks,” says Solomon. It’s not just Americans, either. “Medical campaigns actually make up a larger percentage of active campaigns in our biggest markets outside the US, such as in Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom—all places with socialized healthcare”
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