Fana, a 25-year-old student in Philadelphia, has Type 1 diabetes. She faces lots of medical bills and the challenge of having to pay for insulin and special medical equipment.
So she didn’t need the $467 bill she got from the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in late 2021.
“I was stressed out,” Fana recalls. “I’m a Type 1 diabetic, so I’ve been getting medical bills since… forever.”
But Fana applied for charity care with Dollar For’s help, after an online search about getting assistance with her bill. It took a while to satisfy all the hospital’s requirements, but in early 2023, she got word that she had been approved. Her hospital bill was gone!
She attends a local community college and hopes to become a cardiac sonographer, a specialist in imaging a patient’s heart.
Dollar For helps patients check if they are eligible for charity care and then prepare and submit applications to possibly eliminate medical debt. It has worked to provide some $36 million in medical debt relief so far.
Hearing about Dollar For, Fana recalls, “I thought it was too good to be true, but I thought it was worth a shot. Medical debt is not something you’d (normally) get help with.”
Working with Dollar For was easy and very pleasant, she says.
Even when she faced hurdles – like being told her charity care application couldn’t be faxed, it had to be mailed – “whatever Dollar For did on their end, it worked.”
“I was so happy. I was thankful, too. It’s definitely a relief, not being stressed out any more, not having that over my head.”
Individuals with type 1 diabetes are unable to produce insulin in their bodies, so they need regular injections which can be expensive.
With her diabetes, facing major expenses for insulin, and having to switch insurance companies, Fana has had to become an expert on things like Medicaid and choosing the right insurance coverage. “My friends know to call me with questions about insurance. I know how to fight,” she says.
Since her bill from the Philadelphia hospital was crushed, Fana can prioritize her health and put the money toward things like healthy food, vitamins, and a gym membership.
Her goal is to “put the healthy stuff first… So it definitely means easier care for myself.”