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Is char­i­ty the only defense against ris­ing health care costs? 

How critical illness insurance can help in a GoFundMe era.

Scott Zagurski Headshot

By Scott Zagurski, Senior Director, Marketing & Communications


Since 2010, GoFundMe has been changing the way people give to causes. Initially launched to help people fund holidays and weddings, now its users seek out this resource to help a loved one or even a stranger pay for chemo, physical therapy or a long list of other forms of treatment during a medical crisis.

GoFundMe was founded with no intent to “… be a substitute for medical insurance,” said CEO Rob Solomon in an interview with CBS MoneyWatch. Today, it’s by far the most prominent source of medical crowdfunding. As of 2018, 250,000 GoFundMe campaigns annually help people pay for medical care, amounting to more than $650 million.

Of those campaigns, only about one in 10 ever meets its fundraising goal.

Despite the progress made with the Afford­able Care Act, there are ever-widen­ing gaps in cov­er­age for treat­ment, pre­scrip­tions and relat­ed health care costs, even for patients with insur­ance. How­ev­er, while GoFundMe can pro­vide time­ly, crit­i­cal help to peo­ple fac­ing health care crises, we do not aim to be a sub­sti­tute social safe­ty net.”

GoFundMe statement to Yahoo Finance

More and more Americans – even those who have health insurance – are relying on the charity of others to cover the growing costs of health care.

It’s not the only option.

Supplemental insurance can help bridge the financial gap between what your health care insurance covers – and what it doesn't – while also helping manage household finances. And because the money is paid to you, you can use it however you want – pay your bills, pay for childcare or travel for treatment.

Assurity Critical Illness Insurance, for example, pays the policyholder a lump sum of money following a diagnosis of a heart attack, stroke or other covered condition. The goal is to give you the freedom to focus on your recovery, not on your finances.

So while crowdfunding platforms like GoFundMe allow anyone to tell their story, it's not a guarantee they'll be heard. When looking to fill financial gaps, consider turning to supplemental insurance products to help you through a difficult time.