With the explosion of crowdfunding websites in recent years, thousands of entrepreneurs have been able to launch successful businesses through the donations of others.
However, according to Business Insider, a largely unseen but significant use of these platforms however is to pay for accumulated medical debt. Medical debt has taken such an incredible presence on crowdfunding sites in recent years that many sites report that half of the money raised is to pay for overdue medical bills:
Medical campaigns make up $930 million of the $2 billion raised on GoFundMe, according to NerdWallet. Almost half of the $800 million raised on YouCaring, another crowdfunding platform, went towards medical expenses, Bloomberg reports.
Many patients using crowdfunding may also have insurance, but could be raising money to meet high deductibles. With the possible repeal of the affordable care act and more patients forced to pay for healthcare out of pocket, crowdfunding sites may see an even larger presence of medical debt funding campaigns:
Under the American Health Care Act, the Obamacare replacement bill that passed the House in May, 23 million more Americans could become uninsured by 2026, leaving millions more on the hook to pay for medical expenses out of pocket.
Without the security of the Affordable Care Act, many more patients may turn to crowdfunding in the coming years.