Set Your Goal: The Average Annual Cost of a Medical Emergency


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January 13, 2023


January is a month marked by fresh beginnings and new possibilities. But for patients and families navigating a medical crisis, it also means resetting deductibles and max out-of-pocket amounts. The annual cost of medical care can create serious financial challenges for patients and families—especially those battling cancer or a chronic illness.

Unfortunately, the financial burden often adds more stress to their treatment journey. While calculating the annual costs of medical emergencies might seem as simple as analyzing your insurance payments, the reality is that the true cost of care can extend beyond your max out-of-pocket cost. As a medical fundraising platform, we know that the medical journey is full of unexpected bills and unplanned expenses. That’s why we care about helping patients and CareChampions set the right CareFunding goal for their medical fundraising campaign

3 Factors that Impact the Average Annual Cost of a Medical Emergency

Here are three factors to help you calculate how much you or a loved one could expect to pay over a year: 

1. Paying for Medical Care and Continued Rehabilitation 

Hospital bills and medical treatment are the first categories people think about when determining medical costs. It can be helpful to know that the average unexpected medical expense is approximately $3,500. Even something as routine as an ER visit can leave someone in financial trouble. The total average cost of cancer treatment is $150,000. However, this number may be much greater or smaller depending on the patient’s treatments, insurance, and resources. Even when a family has a comprehensive insurance plan, costs can add up quickly, and insurance may not cover everything a patient needs.

2. Co-Pays or Co-Insurance for Prescriptions and Other Medical Needs 

In addition to medical bills, it’s also important to consider the costs of prescriptions during treatment or other rehabilitation needs like physical therapy. Depending on insurance coverage, patients could pay thousands of dollars each year for the prescriptions they need. According to a recent study, 1 in 4 Americans has skipped or delayed care or prescriptions because of the cost. Calculating the prescriptions you need over the course of a year might be tricky, but it’s an important factor to include in the overall cost of a patient’s medical expenses. 

3. Everyday Responsibilities and Burdens During Treatment

The everyday financial burdens of a medical journey are the third (and often overlooked) expense factor. It includes tasks like keeping the house clean, planning meals, and purchasing groceries — which can often become one of the biggest financial burdens during treatment. 

At CaringWays®, we’ve found that helping patients cover these everyday expenses can often be one of the most valuable ways for friends and family to provide support during a medical journey. Our CareCard is a secure debit card that patients can use to pay for health-related expenses, such as food delivery or housekeeping services, that can become difficult to manage during treatment.

Start a CareFunding Campaign to Support Your Family or Loved One

 As a medical fundraising platform, we know the overwhelming financial challenge that patients and their families have to navigate each year. Whether you just received a diagnosis or you’re entering another year of treatment, our CareFunding platform is designed to help you pay for medical bills and cover other health-related expenses you’ll experience throughout your journey. 

If you’re thinking about launching a CaringWays® campaign but aren’t sure where to start, check out our resources or contact our team to start the process.

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