More Americans turn to crowdfunding for medical bills: 6 things to know

Many Americans struggle to afford their medical bills and are increasingly turning to crowdfunding for support, reports Yahoo Finance.

Six things to know:

1. GoFundMe, an online fundraising and crowdfunding platform, reports building a community of more than 50 million donors and helping raise more than $5 billion over its eight-year history. According to GoFundMe CEO Rob Solomon, 1 in 3 of the website's campaigns are medical fundraisers.

2. GoFundMe noted in the report that medical fundraising includes bills, travel, accommodations for families, and various other expenses related to care or recovery.

3. The company did not comment to Yahoo Finance about the number of medical fundraising campaigns. The GoFundMe website showed medical fundraising accounts for 250,000-plus campaigns annually, with $650 million-plus raised through those campaigns.

4. Americans are increasingly struggling to afford their medical expenses amid rising copays and deductibles.

5. But Tom Kise, the director of public affairs for the United States of Care, a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization, told Yahoo Finance he believes people should not have to use crowdfunding for support.

"The role of our family and friends isn't supposed to be to help us pay for our medical bills," Mr. Kise said. "We can do better as a nation."

6. GoFundMe told Yahoo Finance in a statement: "Despite the progress made with the Affordable Care Act, there are ever-widening gaps in coverage for treatment, prescriptions, and related healthcare costs, even for patients with insurance. However, while GoFundMe can provide timely, critical help to people facing healthcare crises, we do not aim to be a substitute social safety net."

 

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