June 22, 2022

Justin and Amy Fought the Health System and Won

The Farleys felt the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic.

After six years of working as a case manager at the local hospital, the non-COVID patients disappeared, and so did Amy’s job. Like many Americans, the Farleys got their health insurance through their employer. Since Justin ran his own business, it was much more economical to use Amy’s insurance. That was no longer an option when the hospital let her go, so they started scouring the internet for alternatives. 

The Farleys stumbled across CrowdHealth, a newer company with a brand new way of paying for health bills. “We were really looking for something outside the norm, because the norm wasn’t going to work for us,” Justin explained.

Instead of paying a health insurance company, Members of CrowdHealth put approximately $150 per month into a Health Funding Account that they own. When another Member has an injury or illness, CrowdHealth facilitates a crowdfunding campaign, where Members of the Crowd have the ability help the Member in need by using funds from their Health Funding Accounts. The Farleys were a bit nervous about trying something new, but insurance was too expensive, so they were willing to take the risk.

“We were hesitant to begin with, because we weren’t sure [the Crowd] would stand with us when we need help. Were they going to take care of us the way they said they were?” 

A few months later, in the middle of a workout, Justin started having heart palpitations. His heart was racing at 230 beats per minute, and it wouldn’t slow down. He went to the ER, and the diagnosis was Supraventricular Tachycardia. He would need a procedure done to correct his heartbeat. His local hospital quoted them $83,655 to perform the procedure.

“It was overwhelming to think about,” Amy said. “We can’t afford it. We’d have to go bankrupt, which means losing the business, losing the house, which displaces my son and our grandkids,” Justin added. 

CrowdHealth helped the Farleys find other options. A hospital in Chicago, about 90 miles away, would do the procedure for $44,000, and a hospital in Oklahoma City was willing to do it for $22,000. Both hospitals had reputations of high-quality care, and their prices were competitive. The Farleys met both doctors and decided the Oklahoma City doctor was the best for them, and for the Crowd. Two first class tickets, three nights in a nice hotel, a personal driver, meals, and the procedure cost approximately $30,000 -- over $50,000 less than their local hospital’s quote.

The Farleys paid their $500 Member Commitment, and CrowdHealth asked 150 Members to fund the remaining $29,500 in expenses for the procedure. Because of the generosity of CrowdHealth Members, the Farleys had the money they needed for Justin’s procedure in Oklahoma City in just three days.

“The saving grace in all of this is that we had CrowdHealth. They made sure Justin was well taken care of,” said Amy.

“[The surgery] was completely successful, which was great, and all of that was off my shoulders. I didn’t have to worry about that anymore. Life is back to normal. I’m working. I don’t have any restrictions.” Justin added.