Crowdfunding helping to cover medical costs


Twenty years ago, the cost of healthcare was a fraction of what it is now.

Churches, non-profits, friends and family used to be who people turned to, to possibly help offset medical costs. Now, some have turned to the mercy of complete strangers, or crowdfunding, to raise money to pay for their healthcare.

GDP Advisors Chief Strategist Seth Denson said health insurance is the financing mechanism that pays high healthcare delivery.

“We’re needing the costs healthcare delivery to go down. And, it’s not likely that these for-profit organizations are going to wake up one day and just decide out of the kindness of their heart that they’re going to stop marking up intravenous bags 54 thousand percent before they deliver them,” said Denson.

He explained an IV bag costs $1 to make, but hospitals bill $540 for it.

Denson said research finds that only 11 percent of crowdfunding for medical campaigns are fully funded. The average ask is $15,000. Then, most crowdfunding sites ask for five percent of what you raised, as their fee. On average each campaign gets about 55 people to donate.

Denson said responsible adults don't know what are the healthcare costs until after they are incurred. Sometimes patients are balance billed for out of network services, or services that aren't covered 100 percent.

Denson said the solution will need to come in the form of a little of government oversight (regulation, not involvement or management), because for-profit companies are not going to voluntarily lower prices.

“The average health insurance company has seen care stock price increases of over 200 percent since the passage of the Affordable Care Act. At the same time, the healthcare delivery system is reporting the highest levels of earnings and profits in the history of the healthcare delivery system,” said Denson.

For consumer protection perspective, the government needs to require transparencies for patients to know their expenses before medical procedures, which enables them to shop for their needs.

Denson added that going without health insurance isn't a good option, but neither is short-term limited style plans.

NeuroTrama Association of America President and author John Gwynne Prosser, II said crowdfunding is a necessity born of the reality that if you don’t live in Michigan, there’s no value in your insurance policy.

“What other resource are people going to turn to when you’ve lost everything you own because of the bankruptcy and now you’re on Medicaid? What other way is there?” said Posser.

It’s reported that 17 states, including Texas, refuse to expand Medicaid programs despite continual federal financing available.

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