After Joey Funderburk's health insurance company told him they wouldn't pay for his new legs, the 20-year-old from South Carolina decided to take matters into his own hands.
Selling Krispy Kreme donuts outside of large stores, Funderburk is hoping to raise enough money to afford new $120,000 prosthetic legs, WBTV reports. The pair he uses now are from when he was much smaller and are not strong enough to support his additional weight.
"I've got to sell thousands upon thousands of doughnuts, but sitting on the couch is not gonna get you a set of legs," he told WBTV.
Funderburk was born in a Romanian orphanage with a birth defect that caused him to lose most of his two legs. He spent six years as an orphan before Chrystal Funderburk brought him to the U.S. to have surgery in Charlotte and obtain his first pair of prosthetic legs.
Now, his insurance company is refusing to cover the cost a new pair of legs because there has been “no change” in Funderburk’s condition, according to CBS South Carolina, despite the fact that Funderburk’s doctor said he is putting himself in danger by using legs that are too small.
Even with insurance, the health care company would only cover $50,000, or less than half of the total cost, Fox News Charlotte reports.
Because of inadequate health care coverage, high-cost households, like Funderburk’s, are on average forced to pay 43 percent of their health care costs out of pocket, while other households generally pay about 17 percent, according to a 2002 to 2006 survey by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
For the fifth year in a row, American health care costs have risen between 7 and 8 percent annually, CNNMoney reported. It is predicted that this year, the cost to cover a family of four with an employer plan will be more than $20,000 a year. Under the Affordable Care Act, there would be limits on how much patients would have to pay out-of-pocket each year for covered services, according to HealthCare.gov.
Funderburk isn’t the only American having difficulty getting coverage with his health insurance. In 2011, only 46 percent of private industry health plans covered prosthetics, according to the Department of Labor.
Funderburk has never been one to sit back and take life as it comes. Calling himself an “ATM: all terrain man,” Funderburk sky dives, travels and even roller bladed when he was younger, according to Fox News Charlotte.
Selling donuts isn’t the only way that the former orphan is raising money for new legs. He also has a fundraising website, which you can find here. To date, Funderburk has raised $2,000 by selling donuts and through donations.