It’s one of the most devastating things that transplant patients can experience. Following an unexpected medical crisis, a second shock: receiving one or many medical bills for emergency care that they simply cannot afford.
This situation isn’t just frustrating and tragic—it’s also very common.
Learn exactly how significant the medical cost crisis has become and how transplant patients can fight back.
The Epidemic of Emergency Medical Costs
Multiple recent articles have highlighted the enormous scope of emergency medical expenses. Here are a few key soundbites:
- “It’s hard to imagine many patients who are so prepared and insurance-savvy that they could protect themselves from an out-of-network bill in the middle of a heart attack.” –Axios
Instead of being protecting from financial blows, in an emergency, patients are more vulnerable than ever. As Kaiser Family Foundation reports, you are more likely to receive an out-of-network bill while you are receiving significant treatment (such as a major surgery) at an in-network hospital. You are also more likely to struggle to pay your bills if you are experiencing a significant issue such as a transplant or catastrophic illness.
- “42% have had to charge medical expenses on a credit card.” –Freedom Debt Relief
If you felt unprepared when medical bills began to add up, you are far from alone. Not only have almost half of all American patients had to pay with a credit card instead of cash or savings, but almost 20% have had to borrow money from a loved one. 11% have had to sell something to help cover costs, and 7% have had to take out a loan.
- “Millions of Americans are delaying getting medical help because of skyrocketing costs.” –The Guardian
Medical expenses don’t always come down to paying with cash or credit: sometimes, fear of bills results in delaying or skipping care altogether. Whether it’s a simple symptom that may have nefarious underlying causes or a critical dose of immunosuppressants after a transplant, fear of unexpected medical costs can become life-threatening to patients.
What To Do About Emergency Medical Costs
There are plenty of tips circulating social media that help patients to figure out how to fight exorbitant medical costs, particularly in response to unexpected bills for emergency care. For many patients, fundraising is an essential lifeline—it’s why our nonprofit, Help Hope Live, has to exist.
Since 1983, we’ve been teaching patients and their communities how to fundraise for the critical costs of medical care, from everyday medication and home health care costs to air travel and other often-shockingly large emergency expenses that insurance refuses to cover.
You are not alone in being #forcedtofundraise because of the cost of critical care. We’re here to help, so get in touch if you feel like fundraising might help lift the burden.