Fighting an illness requires mental, emotional, and physical strength. Unfortunately, it also requires money—often a lot of it. If you don’t have insurance, you’ll have to pay out of pocket medical expenses. A TransUnion report found that in 2017 there was an increase of 11% in out of pocket costs, forcing more of the payment responsibility onto patients.
If you’re wondering how to get rid of medical debt that was caused by out of pocket expenses, know that you’re not alone. There are numerous resources to help you get emergency financial assistance so you can focus on what’s most important: your journey to healing.
What are out of pocket expenses?
Out of pocket expenses are medical costs that are not covered by your insurance company. Many insurance companies can deny coverage for certain prescription medicines, mental health care, costly cancer treatments, and chronic diseases, leaving you to pay for the full medical bill.
Resources that help with out of pocket medical expenses
Below we will walk you through each resource so you can find the best fit for your needs.
1. Crowdfunding for medical expenses
Many have turned to crowdfunding to combat overwhelming medical costs. Fundraising for medical expenses allows you to quickly and easily reach out to a giving community to help relieve the burden of medical debt. Use our medical crowdfunding guide to help get started.
Online fundraising is becoming increasingly popular because it allows people to raise money for absolutely anything they need, including medical costs. Starting a campaign on GoFundMe only takes about five minutes, and using our free fundraising platform will allow you to keep more of your donations. There’s no application process or income requirements, so you can get started raising money for medical bills right away.
See how others avoided medical debt by crowdfunding
Olivia was in middle school when she was diagnosed with a rare cancer, T-Lymphoblastic Lymphoma. Oliva’s doctors recommended a bone marrow transplant to help kick the cancer for good—but this $900,000 procedure wasn’t covered under their family’s insurance plan. Olivia’s brother was a 100% match for the transplant, so a family friend started a fundraiser to make the procedure a reality. The campaign raised over $300,000 in just two months, and Olivia is well on her way to her goal.
When Raluca’s mom was diagnosed with mesothelioma, she was shocked. She was also terrified of treatment costs. Her mom wasn’t a US citizen and was uninsured. Raluca started a fundraiser and told the world her mom’s story. With a compelling story full of emotional details and posting frequent updates to keep her donors in the loop, Raluca touched supporters. She has been able to raise nearly $170,000 for her mom’s cancer treatment.
2. Nonprofits offering help for out of pocket expenses
There are several nonprofits out there that specifically focus on helping people pay for medical-related expenses. The four organizations below assist those who have existing insurance but still need financial help.
This organization helps the underinsured pay copays, premiums, deductibles and out of pocket expenses. They even help pay for travel expenses incurred on the way to treatment. To be eligible, you must have some form of existing health insurance, meet the income requirements, and receive treatment in the US.
This is an organization that provides financial assistance to those suffering from certain diseases. They help cover copays, premiums, and travel costs. They also provide help navigating the healthcare system. Patients must have valid health insurance, be diagnosed with a covered disease, and have a valid Social Security Number, among other requirements.
This nonprofit focuses on providing financial help to children and their families through medical grants. Children must be 16 years or younger to qualify, have some form of private health insurance, and have a Social Security Number.
The Hope Lodge’s program through the American Cancer Society provides cancer patients and their families with free lodging while they travel for cancer treatments. Eligibility requirements vary by state.
3. Assistance from the government for out of pocket expenses
If you meet specific qualifications, government assistance is another way to get help with bills. Here are three programs that may work for you:
This program helps needy families get back on their feet so they can provide adequate care to their children and eventually become self-sufficient. To be eligible, you must be pregnant or caring for a child under the age of 19. You must be unemployed or underemployed, and be a US national, citizen, legal alien, or permanent resident.
The CHIP provides kids and teens with low-cost health insurance. The program covers services like immunizations, dental care, prescriptions, and hospital visits for children up to age 19 whose families make up to $49,200 per year.
This helps pay your Medicare premiums, and in some cases, deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance. They offer four different types of Medicare savings programs based on income levels. You can visit their contact information page to find out the specific requirements for your state and see if you’re eligible.
Get relief for costly out of pocket medical costs
From minor surgeries to major cancer treatments, medical-related expenses aren’t cheap—with or without insurance. If you’ve exhausted other options to conquer mounting medical costs, crowdfunding can help you. We know the situation may seem impossible, but every day we see people use medical fundraising successfully—receiving both financial and emotional support.
By fundraising for out of pocket medical expenses through GoFundMe, you can find financial freedom and focus on your health. Start a fundraiser for medical expenses today.