Being overwhelmed with medical debt is a feeling that some Michigan residents know all too well. Maybe you couldn’t wait a week to see your regular doctor for a condition, so you sought emergency care, or perhaps you were diagnosed with a disease that requires extensive, ongoing treatment to ensure your well-being. Regardless of how medical debt comes about, there is no doubt that it can be difficult to pay it off.

If you have been in this situation, know that you are not alone. In fact, a study conducted by the National Bureau of Economic Research two years ago found that half of Americans would have a hard time coming up with $2,000 to pay for medical bills. Only a quarter of Americans said they would be able to come up with the money without using credit cards, tapping into a savings account or using other methods for help.

Interestingly, a new trend in paying for medical bills is quickly rising. Some people who are in desperate need of money for treatments are turning to crowdfunding. Through websites like GiveForward and YouCaring.com, an individual can create a campaign and ask friends, families, co-workers, neighbors or even strangers to pitch in to help cover their medical bills. Last year, one woman raised more than $40,000 to help cover the specialized treatment she needed to fight cancer.

While crowdfunding works well for some people, it may not cover everything or be the best method for others. However, there are still options when debt becomes too much to handle. An attorney can explain how bankruptcy could help you find debt relief.

Source: Forbes, “When Medical Bills Pile UP, Can You Crowdfund Your Health Care?” Linda Childers, April 17, 2013

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