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Patients with mounting medical costs turn to crowd-funding

What do you think about this crowd-funding trend?

Maybe you’ve seen the plea: A friend, neighbor or even a stranger is battling a serious illness and can’t keep up with mounting medical expenses. So they turn to social media for help.

Websites like GoFundMe or YouCaring have offered a bridge to relief for urgent health care bills. Such expenses are the largest single cause of bankruptcies in the United States, according to an article in Mother Jones.

Crowd-funding websites have filled a void left by other charitable endeavors, and such sites have proliferated and provided a financial lifeline for some patients who feel the additional burden of health care cost at the same time they’re trying to focus energy on fighting for their lives.

Of course, health care is not the only charitable cause these and other sites target, but providing financial support for medical expenses has been the biggest driver of their use.

“Crowd-funding websites have filled a void left by other charitable endeavors”

The Mother Jones article also notes that some people are increasingly critical of the social media pull of such sites because they can come across as a “popularity contest” of sorts to drive fundraising.

What do you think? Have you contributed to one of these sites to support someone you know? Have you used one yourself, or even considered setting one up to help with your own health care costs? Did you even know these sites existed? Share your voice.