Many US patients decide to travel overseas to Germany to get treated for chronic Lyme disease. For some, it remains the only option to get cured as Germany is one of the forerunners in Lyme disease treatment and offers therapies not available elsewhere or within the US.
However, collecting funds still remains one of the biggest challenges for such individuals for undergoing treatment abroad can easily add up to expenses of around $25,000 per patient.
Hopeful patients therefore need to find quick and effective ways to collect the finances needed for their treatment. And since the treatment is not government supported, many individuals have to resort to personal effort and assistance from family, friends and willing strangers to donate to their cause.
Just like any other type of disease, collecting funds for Lyme disease treatment can be carried out by the following ways:
Travel Insurance for Treating Lyme Disease
Travel insurance offers emergency medical coverage when out of the country. There are various private organizations that arrange for insurance for overseas travelers. It is important to find an insurance plan that covers the individual’s specific medical needs and requirements.
Travel medical insurance is a way to cover the cost of various levels of overseas medical treatment. Some of these may include hospitalization costs, doctor’s visits surgery, and prescription medication.
Medical Fundraising for Treating Lyme Disease
Another way to go is to do some medical fundraising online and offline. For online crowdfunding, individuals can visit a specialized website that helps people collect funds for their treatment for medical reasons. Such websites as PeoplePledge are helpful in creating funding pages for their clients through which funds may be donated to the patient’s account directly.
This is a fast and inexpensive way to start collecting funds for overseas travel and treatment expenses. This method of fundraising is also particularly effective in attracting a greater number of donors as word about the fundraiser can be spread quickly via the social media.
Medical fundraising can also be put together by more traditional fundraising tactics such as special events, bake sales or garage sales, sports and tournaments, car washes or dog washes and auctions among others. Such events are useful in attracting donors who may know the individual personally and can spread the word to their contacts. Also, some people might be hesitant donating for an online cause and may feel better giving to an offline fundraiser.
Using Your Retirement Plan
Contributions made to an individual’s IRA are meant to supplement their income during the retirement years. Typically, amount put in the IRA remain untouched until retirement but unforeseen expenses including the need to meet medical bills may compel people to withdraw some of those assets prematurely.
However, for amounts that are withdrawn earlier than the retirement age, there may be an additional 10% early distribution penalty on any taxable amount. The penalty is imposed to discourage individuals from extracting premature distributions from their accounts but in exceptional cases the penalty may be waived off.
For meeting medical expenses and in this case paying for lyme disease treatment, the penalty may be waived for medical expenses that are over and above what the individual’s insurance covers for the year or if the individual does not have health insurance.
1. Insurance Providers: http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/go/health/insurance-providers.html