Medical debt: Crowdfunding campaigns to pay health bills had a tough 2020

Yahoo Finance's Adriana Belmonte joins the Live show to discuss data on crowdfunding campaigns to pay off medical debt.

Video Transcript

- And by now, it's probably common enough to have noticed that a lot of people are turning to crowdfunding sources, like GoFundMe, to get medical help with regards to some of these large bills. For more on this, let's bring in Yahoo Finance's Adriana Belmonte, who dug a little bit into the data and kind of has a little bit of an interesting insight into the success rate by which some of these campaigns help specifically low-income-- in some cases, minority-- communities with paying their bills. ADRIANA BELMONTE: Yes. So this report took extrapolated data from over 400,000 GoFundMe campaigns and found that just 12% of them actually met their goals. And 16% didn't even receive a donation. So those numbers are pretty crazy. You know, when you hear all these success stories, those are people in the minority. Usually, most people relying on this don't get enough money that they need. And I talked to somebody from RIP Medical Debt. And she pointed out how this kind of shows you can't be relying on crowdfunding to raise money for your medical debt. You know, there needs to be larger policy to address this. - All right. Well, Adriana-- oh, go ahead, Akiko. Sorry. - No, Brian. Go ahead. - No. I was just going to ask, I mean, as a follow-up here, very quickly, I know that it's kind of understood that with these type of medical debts, it is, indeed, the case that not all communities will be able to benefit from that. I mean, we know that it's, many cases, low-income minority communities that are most often in need of help. Was there any sort of data that kind of parsed out specifically by demographic who kind of didn't get the help that they needed? ADRIANA BELMONTE: Yeah. So unsurprisingly, there were both racial and economic disparities, Black and Hispanic individuals, overall to carry more medical debt. It just has to do with systemic issues that go back for a while. But also, lower income individuals also struggle with obtaining the money that they need. And a lot of it has to do with the fact that, you know, people with means-- they know other people with means. So they're kind of able to rely on those to help contribute to these campaigns. And on the other side, when you have less money, you probably know a lot of other people who are in similar situation. And they have less capacity to respond.

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