Medical debt causes a great deal of financial hardship, but not every story about medical debt has a sad ending. Indeed, in the wake of pop musician Prince's death, a happy story about medical debt has surfaced. The story involves "Funky Drummer" Clyde Stubblefield who incurred $90,000 worth of medical debt following his successful treatment for bladder cancer in 2000.
Stubblefield could not afford to pay off his medical bills so local musicians held a benefit concert to help raise money. That's when Prince called. Prince, who passed away last week at the age of 57, paid off all of Stubblefield's hospital debt that remained. However, the musician asked one special favor -- that his generosity be kept a secret.
After Prince died, however, Stubblefield's wife went public with news of Prince's generosity during their time of need. She said that her husband hadn't reached Medicare age and he didn't have any insurance when he contracted bladder cancer, and although local musicians had done an incredible job of raising $10,000 for the "Funky Drummer," it just wasn't enough. Then, she got the call from Prince's people who said that Stubblefield was one of Prince's drumming idols, and they would pay whatever amount of medical bills needed to be paid. Stubblefield says he still finds it difficult to believe that Prince paid his medical bills like that, but he is honored by it.
Unfortunately, we can't all be Prince's drumming idol, and most of us do not have an angel watching over us to swoop down and suddenly pay off our medical bills. However, Arizona residents do have the bankruptcy process at their disposal, and they may be able to file for Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 bankruptcy to resolve their medical bills.
Source: Lacrosse Tribune, "Prince paid off medical bills for Madison's 'Funky Drummer,' Clyde Stubblefield," Gayle Worland, accessed April 28, 2016