Many Struggling with Medical Bills Turn to Crowdfunding Campaigns

Many people struggling with medical bills use crowdfunding campaigns to seek help, Lancaster Online reports.

A study by NerdWallet looked at FundRazr, GiveForward, GoFundMe, Plumfund and Red Basket and found 41 percent of campaigns were medical, with average goals of $15,721, and that just 11 percent of them were fully funded.

It also said full funding usually required about 55 donors, and that GoFundMe reported raising approximately $2 billion since its 2010 launch, of which about $930 million was for medical campaigns.

As Bloomberg notes, “For more and more Americans, vying in a popularity contest for a limited supply of funds and sympathy may be the only way to pay the doctors and stay afloat.”

Bloomberg also cited a recent study by University of Washington/Bothell with preliminary results showing that personal medical campaigns on GoFundMe were likelier to come from people living in states that chose not to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, and that 90 percent of the campaigns studied didn’t reach their goal, with fundraisers getting 40 percent of what they asked for, on average.

Consumer Reports notes that personal bankruptcy filings have dropped by about 50 percent since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, from 1,536,799 in 2010 to 770,846 in 2016.