GoFundMe is a crowd-sourcing financial platform that many of your patients are using to pay for your care to the tune of $650 million. One of the reasons that this has taken off is that the patient is now responsible for up to 40% of healthcare costs when the have insurance. The introduction of high deductible plans and decreasing benefits this is no surprise. In order to make your services more accessible Patient Payment Solutions offers you 2 ways of getting paid, upfront through our 20 lenders in pre-funding with qualified credit on behalf of the patient or overtime to any patient who walks into your door. Let’s look at the article by Carolyn McClanahan titled, “People Are Raising $650 Million On GoFundMe Each Year To Attack Rising Healthcare Costs.” published by Forbes.
People are hit financially in a number of areas when they develop a serious illness. More and more, yearly deductibles are in the $10,000 range. If a person has the misfortune of not getting care through their insurance company’s network, the cost can be significantly higher. The loss of employment also hits hard for both the patient and any caregivers. And the incidental expenses add up – wound care supplies, transportation, and special diets are just a few. These costs can wipe out any savings. People often skimp on the appropriate care to save money or because they don’t have the resources in the first place.
How are people making up the shortfall? A recent story by Mark Zdechlik for Minnesota Public Radio shared stories about the use of GoFundMe to raise money for those facing large medical bills. One in three campaigns through GoFundMe are for medical costs and the GoFundMe site states they are the leader in online medical fundraising. There are over 250,000 medical campaigns per year raising $650 million each year. This is sad and insane. I’ve written about this before – charity is not the answer to funding our healthcare needs. We need to fix the healthcare system and how we pay for healthcare.
A number of the GoFundMe campaigns are for people who do not have health insurance. Since health insurance is now guaranteed issue, should we fund people who did not fulfill their responsibility to obtain coverage?
Alas, for many people, health insurance is no longer affordable. In 2018, the average silver based plan for a 40 year old is close to $6,000 yearly and the average deductible is about $4,000. For older individuals, the cost is much higher. Individuals making just one dollar over $48,560 do not qualify for premium tax credits that bring down the cost of insurance. If insurance and deductibles are $10,000 per year, that equates to about 17% for someone with the estimated median household income of $59,000. After housing, food, and transportation, the average household cannot afford to shell out that much money for medical care.
PPS can help you plug this hole with more value given directly to your patient.