How to get friends to pay your medical bills

How to get friends to pay your medical bills
February 07 01:00 2015

How to get friends to pay your medical bills

How much money could you come up with in a medical emergency?

For most people, a few thousand dollars would be difficult to find. Unfortunately, many medical bills run a lot more than that, especially when a hospitalization is involved.

Unforeseen medical costs can be downright catastrophic to your finances – depleting your savings, strapping your family and even ruining your credit if the bill goes to debt collectors.

From the outside looking in, friends and family want to help. They just may not know how, but Daryl Hatton does. He’s the founder and CEO of FundRazr, one of the leading crowdfunding platforms for people struggling with medical bills. The idea is simple: you set up an online account and ask friends and family to donate what they can and to spread the word about your cause.

“Crowdfunding is the modern-day version of ‘pass the hat,'” Hatton says. “What used to happen at community centers and malls during times of need can now happen within our social networks to connect people with personal struggles with the people that care about them.”

In short, a little bit of help from many people translates into a lot of help in your time of deepest financial need. Family members, friends or patients themselves can start an individual fundraiser, or campaign, and anyone can donate with a credit card, PayPal, or WePay account.

Goals range from a couple hundred dollars to thousands — no need is too small or too great, and donors pay only what they can. To keep the website running, a fee is charged to either the donors or campaigner, usually about 5% of contributions.

Crowdfunding has been around for a long time, but the Internet and social media have breathed new life into the concept. With a strong social media presence, any crowdfunding campaign can be successful, since many donations come from strangers or anonymous sources. The more you share on social media, the more people who see it are likely to donate and share to help fund your cause. The result is often tens of thousands of dollars accumulated from donations of less than $100 each.

“Social networks function to spread messages to your friends, family and network everyday,” Hatton explains. “Now we can leverage these existing networks in times of need to get help from the people that support you the most.”

If you’re not social media savvy, don’t worry – most platforms have tools, tutorials or coaches to help boost your social media presence. Crowdfunding won’t solve every problem for people who are injured or sick, but it just may be what saves their finances, so there’s one less thing to worry about.

Read full story at USA TODAY
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