Financial Help for Out of Pocket Medical Expenses
Fighting an illness requires mental, emotional and physical strength. Unfortunately, it also requires money — often a lot of it.
If Medicare doesn’t cover your illness, and you don’t have insurance that covers it, you’ll have to seek financial help for out of pocket medical expenses. A 2019 report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) found that health spending accounts for roughly 10% of overall economic activity, with more and more of that payment responsibility falling onto individuals.
If you’re wondering how to get rid of medical debt, know that you’re not alone. There are numerous resources to help you get emergency financial assistance so you can focus on what’s most important: your journey to healing.
What are out of pocket expenses?
Out of pocket expenses are medical costs that are not covered by Medicare, or your insurance company if you have private health insurance (as many Australians now need to ensure they aren’t charged the Medicare Levy Surcharge). Some insurance deny coverage for certain prescription medicines, mental health care, costly cancer treatments and chronic diseases, leaving you to pay for the full medical bill.
Resources to help with financial help for out of pocket medical expenses
Below we will walk you through each resource so you can find the best fit for your needs.
1. Crowdfunding for medical expenses
Many have turned to crowdfunding to combat overwhelming medical costs. Fundraising for medical expenses allows you to quickly and easily reach out to a giving community to help relieve the burden of medical debt. Use our medical crowdfunding guide to help get started.
Online fundraising is becoming increasingly popular because it allows people to raise money for absolutely anything they need, including medical costs. Starting a campaign on GoFundMe only takes about five minutes and using our free fundraising platform will allow you to keep more of your donations. There’s no application process or income requirements, so you can get started raising money for medical bills right away.
See how other Aussies avoided medical debt by crowdfunding
What was meant to be Chris’ usual afternoon surf very suddenly turned into a living nightmare. He fell off of his board, knocked his head and despite receiving urgent medical care, was left as a quadriplegic due to his injuries. Almost $125,000 has been raised so far to help Chris and his wife get back to some degree of normalcy and move on from the accident.
Marko may only be two, but he’s already endured more medical trauma than many others ever would in their lifetime. A malignant terminal tumour called neuroblastoma has severely impacted Marko’s quality of life, but his mum is determined to help Marko recover. So far, she’s used crowdfunding to raise over $250,000 for Marko to receive potentially life-saving treatment by way of a rare clinical trial for his condition. The catch? It’s in the US, but thanks to the generous donations they’ve received, it won’t be a barrier for them.
2. Not-for-profits offering financial help for out of pocket medical expenses
There are a small handful of not-for-profits out there that specifically focus on helping people pay for medical-related expenses, or offset or negotiate down other costs involved with caring for a seriously ill person. The five organisations below assist those who need financial help.
Ronald McDonald House is dedicated to keeping Australian families together when they need it most. Offering comfortable, well-equipped houses and family rooms near or inside hospitals across the country, they ensure that families aren’t crippled by accommodation costs and housing stress when their children desperately need life-saving medical treatment.
The Royal Flying Doctor Service ensures that every Australian, no matter how far into our great nation they live, has access to emergency and primary care. They aim to reduce the disparity of health service access, particularly for folk in the bush whose closest hospital can be up to six hours away and who otherwise could not afford or find the resources to make that trip.
This faith-based NFP organisation offers advocacy services to help negotiate down medical fees for people who otherwise do not feel confident or knowledgeable enough to do so. They can help patients come to agreements with their specialists to pay lower appointment and script costs, as well as assist people in gaining the right referrals they need to get well.
The last thing you need upon being diagnosed with a rare type of cancer is to figure out what support systems are in place for you. Rare Cancers Australia can help, through advocacy, patient support programs, treatment and research, early diagnosis initiatives and connecting you with others in their patient community. This can help carry not only some of the financial cost, but the emotional burden too.
The Starlight Foundation brightens the lives of sick kids by helping them to forget their illness and recover the joy of childhood. Working alongside health professionals, with research underpinned by the World Health Organisation, they run national programs that allow children to pursue activities and dreams that they otherwise would not be able to afford – but that their parents desperately want to gift them.
3. Government assistance offering financial help for out of pocket medical expenses
While it’s not a direct government initiative to get help with bills, the Private Health Insurance Ombudsman can assist you to come to a fair resolution with your service provider if you feel you have been unfairly charged for medical costs.
Get relief for costly out of pocket medical costs
From minor surgeries to major cancer treatments, medical-related expenses aren’t cheap — with or without insurance or Medicare cover. If you’ve exhausted other options to conquer mounting medical costs, crowdfunding can help you. We know the situation may seem impossible, but every day we see people use medical fundraising successfully — receiving both financial and emotional support.
By fundraising for out of pocket medical expenses through GoFundMe, you can find financial freedom and focus on your health. Take a look at some GoFundMe success stories to see what others say about online fundraising. Start a fundraiser for medical expenses today.