Since Timothy Griffin was diagnosed with diabetes, about four years ago, he has struggled with different pains and illnesses. He’s also racked up thousands in medical bills.
Timothy explained he’s had to see doctors due to “way high” blood sugar, hypertension, migraines and blood clots in his body. He also had an infected cyst in his leg, for which he had to be hospitalized to have surgery.
“Everything, I believe, has stemmed from my diabetes,” he said.
Though he is grateful for the care he’s received at Central Dupage Hospital in Illinois, Timothy had accumulated $4,809 in medical debt through his several visits with his personal care physician and endocrinologist (a specialist in diabetes).
Before learning about the amount he owed for medical services, Timothy said he already anticipated he would not be able to afford the hospital’s payment plan. “I was originally paying, like, a minimum amount to them … It was monthly, but it kept getting higher because I kept going to the doctor,” he said with a nervous chuckle.
Though he doesn’t recall the exact amounts, Timothy estimated he began paying $30-something a month, then $50, then $100, until he was paying “a couple $100 a month, just to get it paid down.”
Eventually, Timothy had to go on disability from his employment at Whole Foods as a deli counter supervisor and his finances got “even tighter.”
Unsure how he could keep making payments and filled with worry, Timothy said his significant other found out about Dollar For online. “I’d discussed with him how my finances are going, since I’m making less,” he said.
From the time Timothy started communicating with Dollar For, “around November 2022,” he said it was a “pretty quick” process to provide the information Dollar For used to file his application with the hospital.
And about a month later, Timothy got the good news: “I did get a refund … Everything I paid, from May 2021 to recently, I got a refund for.”
Adding to that, Timothy said he was approved for hospital financial assistance through the end of this year, meaning he won’t have to worry about more medical debt as he continues routine medical care or if he needs to be hospitalized again. “There’s just a lot of weight off my chest,” he said.
Timothy said he’d been told about options for lower prescription costs, such as GoodRx, but not once about assistance for his medical bills.
Now that he knows, “it just makes me feel a lot better,” he said, and he’s been able to build a “pocket” of savings.
“Right now, until November, I don’t have to worry about seeing my doctors if an emergency were to happen, or about the debt that would follow. So it’s been very helpful, to think clearly and not have to worry,” Timothy said.