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Survey: Millions of Americans Turn to Crowdfunding to Pay for Medical Expenses

By Alexandra Wilson Pecci  
   February 25, 2020

As out-of-pocket healthcare costs continue to rise, Americans are looking for financial help from friends and strangers via online crowdfunding.

One in five Americans reported that they or someone in their household have contributed to a crowdfunding campaign to pay for medical bills or treatments, according to a new AmeriSpeak Spotlight on Health survey from NORC at the University of Chicago.

The survey also found that an estimated 8 million Americans had started a campaign for themselves or someone in their household and more than 12 million Americans had started a campaign for someone else.

The survey found:

  • 46% of respondents who donated did so to a friend’s crowdfunding campaign
  • 61% donated to the campaign of either a relative (24%), co-worker (14%), or acquaintance (23%)
  • 35% donated to someone they did not know personally
  • An estimated 8% of Americans have started crowdfunding campaigns
  • 60% of the respondents believe the government, rather than healthcare providers, charities, and family and friends, should be responsible for paying for care for those who cannot afford it

Alexandra Wilson Pecci is an editor for HealthLeaders.

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