Families are turning to online crowdsourcing to pay their medical bills


As healthcare spending rises, studies show that more and more medical bills are being paid for through crowdsourcing.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and the disease is a fight no one wants to fight. But when an Arkansan mother was diagnosed with the disease, another battle began: paying the hospital bills.

And their situation is not unique.

Kyle Kidd, a comedian on TikTok, never thought he would share a post on GoFundMe until his mother was diagnosed with stage 4 inflammatory breast cancer.

“Releasing GoFundMe was definitely a last resort decision and it was out of desperation,” Kidd said. “When people are fighting for their lives, the last thing you want to worry about is money.”

With bills totaling nearly $ 200,000, Kidd said he didn’t have much of a choice. “We knew if we didn’t have this money she would die,” Kidd added.

And he is not alone. As healthcare spending rises, a January JAMA study (one of the journals of the American Medical Association) shows that “there has been a sharp increase in the use of medical fundraisers over time. ; from 42 fundraisers in 2010 to 119,373 in 2018 ”.

That’s a massive increase that’s over 2,000 times greater in just eight years.

It also tells a larger story of the public’s increased reliance on crowdfunding to pay rising medical bills.

Kidd added, “No one I know can afford more than $ 40,000 a month out of pocket.”

But allowing for hopeful stories individually, as in the case of Kidd’s mother. “We had a goal of $ 20,000 which we hit within an hour of posting this video… I have no words,” he said.

And all of this, as GoFundMe says, overall site usage has increased during the pandemic.

And now, months after the original call to action on Kidd’s TikTok page, their medical bills are covered and Kidd’s mother Sherry is in remission. “In a way, GoFundMe saved my mom’s life,” Kidd said.

GoFundMe expects high donation totals for 2021 and says they will release those reports in the coming months.

Kidd’s GoFundMe is still active as they are saving for future care needs and can be found here.

About John Tuttle

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