Non-profit group helps with catastrophic medical coverage

Non-profit group helps people with catastrophic medical coverage

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By HANA KIM
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Health care can already take a chunk out of your budget, but what if you were critically injured in a car accident or suffered another serious problem?

Every 30 seconds in the U.S., someone files for bankruptcy in the aftermath of overwhelming medical expenses.

So a charity called Samaritans Offering Support is working to help people across Tennessee.

Samaritans is a young, small charity and most of its work is done in a West Knoxville office suite at 1204 Kenesaw Avenue. Organizers are using social media doing plenty of hard work.

"There is just an incredible, incredible number of people affected by catastrophic medical expenses," said founder Darin Gilbert.

The charity defines catastrophic if it's takes 50 percent of a household income.

Gilbert and his wife founded Samaritans Offering Support because of a personal calling. He was plagued by medical expenses after a kidney transplant.

"Sixty-two percent of bankruptcies filed in the United States can be traced to medical expenses and two-thirds of those have medical insurance," Gilbert said.

The charity focuses specifically on helping the middle class.

"Middle class Americans make just enough money to not receive any type of help and so when something happens, they are left hanging," Gilbert said.

There are several programs applicants can apply for including one that will pay a family's minimum medical bills for six months.

Samaritans Offering Support gets most of its funding from corporate grants and individual donations. The charity also has offices in Memphis, Chattanooga, Nashville and Asheville, North Carolina.

If you would like more information, call 877-202-1130.

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