You see an envelope from the hospital in the mail and your heart sinks. You begin to sweat profusely, wondering how much the damage is. And when you finally open the mail and see the amount you owe for your recent visit, you feel like crawling under the covers and never coming back out.
Health care expenses are on the rise, and as a result, a growing number of patients are scratching their heads over how they will afford their medical bills.
When it comes to health care, procedures can be expensive and can come with a lot of unexpected fees. Here’s what you need to know about medical crowdfunding to help you to tackle high hospital bills.
Let’s get started.
Health Care Expenses in the United States
Health care costs in the United States reached more than $3 trillion back in 2016. That makes health care one of the largest industries in the country.
What’s unfortunate about this is that even though health care expenses are climbing, wages aren’t keeping pace. In fact, health care expenses have increased more quickly than the yearly income.
Medical costs are on the rise for two major reasons: lifestyle changes and government policy.
Regarding lifestyle changes, chronic diseases — for example, heart disease and diabetes — have increased and thus are responsible for the majority of today’s medical costs. Why? Because they are difficult and expensive to treat.
Now let’s talk a little bit about government policy.
The United States depends on private medical insurance, with the government programs of Medicaid and Medicare being available for those with no insurance. These programs have sparked demand for medical services, thus enabling providers to raise their prices.
Translation: Americans pay more for the same services that people in other nations receive.
Unfortunately, the government’s efforts to improve medical care and trim costs have actually increased these costs instead.
Considering the dire status of the nation’s health care landscape, it’s no wonder that more people are turning to sites such as GoFundMe to pay their medical bills.
The Potential of Medical Crowdfunding
Medical crowdfunding is certainly popular for covering costs related to doctor’s visits, emergency room visits, surgeries, and hospital stays. However, it is especially popular for paying for the costs of prescription drugs.
Take insulin as an example. The cost of this diabetes medication, which is known to save lives, has increased so much in recent years that it now rivals that of a mortgage payment for some patients.
For many patients, medical crowdfunding is their only recourse for remaining healthy and ultimately staying alive. Through crowdfunding, potential donors can be matched with unmet needs so that patients don’t have to battle their medical bills alone. It essentially offers a way for supply to meet demand in today’s medical world.
Promote Your Campaign
So, you’ve decided to embrace the popularity of medical crowdfunding by setting up your own campaign page. Good for you! But note that this is only step one of the process.
You can’t set up a campaign and then simply sit back and wait for money to flow into your coffers. Rather, you need to treat your medical-bill campaign like an entrepreneur would treat his or her own business campaign. In other words, you need to promote it.
Of course, don’t be surprised if most of those who fund your cause are your own friends and family. The thought of a random stranger scrolling through campaigns, stumbling upon yours and donating to it is certainly a nice one, but it’s not realistic in most campaign situations.
To get the word out about your medical-related financial need, share your campaign link in email, in texts, on Twitter, and on Facebook. Then, get ready to spend between three and five hours per week promoting the campaign.
You can also tap your business connections, seek out relevant Web communities or even contact your local media outlets to maximize your fundraising efforts. Whatever you do, you need to do it continuously for the best results.
Do Your Research
Before you embark on your medical crowdfunding campaign, be sure to browse multiple crowdfunding websites. A multitude of them are available, including the following:
For starters, make sure that the site you choose offers detailed step-by-step instructions for setting up your page as well as posting videos, updates, and photos. Supporters should also be able to link your campaign site to their own Twitter and Facebook accounts.
In addition, check to see how you will receive any money that ends up being pledged. In most cases, the website or you will set up a WePay or PayPal account for accepting donations. Transferring the donated money to a bank account should be effortless for you.
In addition, don’t forget to ask about the various crowdfunding websites’ fees as well.
For instance, GoGetFunding charges a fee of 4% to use its platform. Meanwhile, the fee for GoFundMe is 5%. These fees are simply deducted from the amount of money you receive.
According to YouCaring, you as a fundraiser wouldn’t have to worry about paying a fee to use the platform. However, the site does tack on around 5% to the donor’s costs unless he or she opts out of this.
Also, the crowdfunding websites usually charge a credit card processing fee of nearly 3%. As long as you are prepared to absorb these costs, the money you end up generating from crowdfunding will likely be well worth the investment.
How We Can Help
We offer a wide range of tips and advice related to crowdfunding, a trend we have followed vigorously. We help our readers to figure out how to solve a certain crowdfunding issue or show them how other people have excelled at it.
Get in touch with us to find out more about medical crowdfunding and how to make it work for you. With our help, you can be well on your way to covering your extensive medical bills and thus truly enjoying a higher quality of life and overall well-being in the years to come.