More Calif. Residents Turn to Crowdfunding To Pay Medical Expenses
Many California residents have begun using crowdfunding websites to ask friends, family members and strangers for assistance in paying out-of-pocket medical expenses, HealthyCal reports (Childers, HealthyCal, 3/18).
Background on Crowdfunding
Crowdfunding sites provide people with a digital platform to:
- Describe why they need money; and
- Post updates to a network of donors.
The sites typically collect donations and forward them directly to the individual in need, who can decide how to use the funds (California Healthline, 1/17/13).
Reasons for Crowdfunding
According to HealthyCal, many residents are turning to crowdfunding sites to help pay for health-related costs, such as:
- Medical equipment;
- Medication; and
- Transportation fees.
In addition, such sites can help to fund post-treatment services, such as physical therapy or costly diets.
Brad Damphousse, co-founder of the San Diego-based crowdfunding site Gofundme.com, said that crowdfunding sites also can help to offset "lost wages due to missed work, rent or mortgage, utilities, family travel and other day-to-day living expenses."
Dhruv Kazi, a UC-San Francisco cardiologist, said that consumers should consult with a professional tax adviser to confirm how donations might affect their filing status or Medi-Cal standing. Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program.
Kazi also noted that "for every crowdfunding campaign that surpasses its monetary goal, there are also numerous campaigns that fall short" (HealthyCal, 3/18).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.